May 29, 2024

Honouring Pocola resident Woody Hayes, who passed away in the air.

On August 17, a clear night, Jerry “Woody” Hayes, 61, of Pocola, passed away while paragliding. He was discovered one-tenth of a mile west of the Poteau River and a quarter mile north of U.S. Highway 271. He was declared dead at the scene by Weston Brewer, the medical examiner, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol report written by Cody Jackson of the Troop D detachment from LeFlore County.Twelve Days: For Woody Hayes and others, the Archives aims to 'pay it forward' | From Woody's Couch

Hayes’s friend Shaun Hayden stated that a preliminary autopsy found the paraglider to have blocked arteries, but it made no mention of Hayes sucking in water. When Hayden found out that Hayes’ brother had heart surgery in July, he remembered.

According to Hayes’ friend Hank Linch, “He must have died in the air and went down in the pond.” “He died carrying out his passion.”

The investigation was aided by the Pocola Police Department, Pocola Fire Department, LeFlore County Sheriff’s Department, OHP Trooper Michael Scantling, and an Oklahoma game warden.

He was frequently spotted in the air by residents of LeFlore County, particularly in the northern region near Spiro and Pocola, who were enthralled with his aerial adventures.

At the beach, we would hang out and have the best times ever. Having spent time with Hayes in Galveston, Texas, Linch remarked, “He was the life of every party.

During a time when Hayes was between jobs and staying at Linch’s house, Linch and Hayes became close. Hayes enjoyed working on his vehicle.

Paramotor flying was always an adventure for Hayes. According to Hayden, Hayes enjoyed performing low acro, or flying below 1,000 feet.

Hayden remarked, “He was pretty decent at that.”Coach Woody Hayes, Ohio State Football | Ohio state buckeyes football, Ohio state football, Ohio state football schedule

Robinson stated that teachers strongly discourage low acro.

Hayes, according to Hayden and Linch, was never afraid of any flying conditions.

He’s going all the way with it. Linch stated, “He didn’t back down from anything.”

He didn’t care about the wind or bad weather.

“He had a wild upbringing. Hayden remarked, “It would be a windy, trashy day; she would show you the other way.”

Hayden remembered how much Hayes enjoyed flying up and over the wing in wingovers.

Numerous live videos that Hayes captured while in the air are posted on his Facebook profile. Friends would frequently receive notifications when Hayes went live.

“I would log on and leave a remark. Flying over smoke was his task. The fire didn’t exist. It was smoke only. Linch remarked, “I asked him which way the wind was blowing.

In May, Hayes took off over the Pocola High School graduation.

Hayes’ landing was not flawless. Hayes attempted to land on top of his truck once, but turned slightly and stuck one foot through the windscreen, according to Hayden and Linch.

Hayes prioritised safety by donning a helmet even though he was operating in challenging conditions.

Hayden stated Hayes enjoyed flaunting himself, but not in the water since Hayes was aware of the possibility of drowning. The apparatus weighs a lot, and in the water the lines tangle into a web.

For ten years, Hayes instructed paramotors. In addition to competing internationally, he flew in 37 different nations.

Hayes worked as a supervisor at his Fort Smith, Arkansas, job at the time of his death. Hayes, who had held positions at a number of power plants, was constructing a home in Pocola and relocating, according to Linch.

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