Pictured: A North Carolina Army reservist who died after a crashed plane crashed into an 18-wheel truck.

Pictured: A North Carolina Army reservist who died after a crashed plane crashed into an 18-wheel truck.

An Army Reserve pilot died after his twin-engine plane crashed into an 18-wheeler truck and started a fire in North Carolina, causing part of I-85 to close Wednesday afternoon.”

Raymond John Ackley, 43, died at the scene, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. He has been part of the North Carolina National Guard since 2009 and was stationed in Kuwait and Afghanistan for a year in 2011, WCNC reported.

A National Guard spokesman told that Ackley “served with honor” and was admired by all who knew him.

Ackley has also spent the last 13 years at Microsoft in engineering and customer service roles.

“Ray has had a positive impact on the lives of many Microsoft employees,” Adam DePew, who created the GoFundMe page, wrote on the site. “He was also a very sincere person who always cared about the people who worked with him and was a very sincere and dedicated member of the Microsoft team.”

“This is a huge loss and we will miss him,” DePew, Microsoft’s chief technology officer, added on the website. “Our hearts go out to Ray, his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Ackley is survived by wife Ching and their three sons, aged 11 and 6 years and 5 months, according to a GoFundMe page set up for his family. As of Thursday evening, the site has raised over $10,000.

has reached out to Ackley for comment.

Raymond Ackley, 43, has served in the North Carolina National Guard since 2009 and, according to a spokesman,

Raymond Ackley, 43, has served in the North Carolina National Guard since 2009 and, according to a spokesman, “served with honors.”

Ackley in army uniform with one of his sons. Before his death, the pilot had three sons with his wife, Ching.

Ackley was enlisted in the Army Reserve and deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait in 2011. He is survived by his wife, Ching Ackley, and their three sons, aged 11 and 6 years and 5 months.

Emergency crews arrived at the scene and cleared the road, as the lanes to the south were blocked.

Emergency crews arrived at the scene and cleared the road, as the lanes to the south were blocked.

The Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday that the plane took off from Davidson County Airport when it lost altitude and crashed into a southbound 18-wheeler truck driven by 41-year-old Barrin Lamont Davis. He lives in Concord, 35 miles from the scene.

Davidson County Troopers said the plane was completely engulfed in flames after it crashed onto the highway. Southbound lanes of the Interstate were closed between exits 91 and 88 in Lexington near Cotton Grove Road starting at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Part of the highway remained closed as crews worked to clear the scene, which reopened by 11 p.m.

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The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fatal crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fatal crash.

An unnamed pilot died Wednesday afternoon after his plane crashed into a highway.

An unnamed pilot died Wednesday afternoon after his plane crashed into a highway.

A small plane was hit by a tractor after it crashed on a highway.

A small plane was hit by a tractor after it crashed on a highway.

The name of the pilot has not been released, but it is reported that the driver of the car is alive.

The name of the pilot has not been released, but it is reported that the driver of the car is alive.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the case.

“Obviously, it had some sort of trouble taking off,” crash witness Donald Holt Sr. told WRAL. “My wife said: “The plane is small.” I said, “Yes, it is.”

“Once we were right over the highway, we saw the tail of the plane and saw the tractor and trailer learning on its side, and both were on fire,” Holt said. “When we drove a little further, we saw a puff of smoke – white smoke and black smoke.”

“The fire was coming. it was too hot [and] it was too dangerous to approach him,” Holt said.

Video and photographs from the scene show the charred remains of a small aircraft and an overturned tractor and trailer sprawled across the highway.

Puffs of black smoke rose from the Interstate as emergency crews stopped traffic and cleared the road.

A fiery crash brought I-85 to a standstill in Davidson County, North Carolina during rush hour.

A fiery crash brought I-85 to a standstill in Davidson County, North Carolina during rush hour.

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