On September 8, the country music world was struck by tragedy when one half of Montgomery Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash. According to a statement from the group’s management, Troy Gentry died in the crash at around 1 p.m. in Medford, New Jersey. The release says the duo had been due to perform at the Flying W Airport and Resort in the town. Gentry was 50 years old. The statement concludes with, “Troy Gentry’s family wishes to acknowledge all of the kind thoughts and prayers and asks for privacy.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. There Is No Indication that Montgomery Was on the Helicopter
There is no indication that Eddie Montgomery was not on board the helicopter. TMZ said in their report that they are still digging to find out Montgomery’s whereabouts.
CBS Philadelphia reports that the helicopter crashed into a wooded area close to the airport.
2. In 2014, Montgomery’s Home Was Hit by a Tornado Just After His Wedding
In April 2014, Montgomery announced on Twitter that he had remarried to Jennifer Belcher. The singer added that just after the wedding, their home had been hit by a tornado.
Taste of Country reports that the couple began seeing each other in 2011.
3. His First Wife Filed for Divorce a Month After He Was Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer
In November 2010, Montgomery had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had a tumor removed in December 2010 in the same month that his wife, Tracy, filed for divorce. It was reported at the time that Nunan served him divorce papers at his restaurant in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. They had been married for 20 years and had four children together. In a now-deleted Facebook post, via The Boot, Montgomery wrote, “U find out u got cancer then u found out ur wife can’t handle that so she files for divorce… merry christmas. She says she’s a Christian wow… I think I need to get her a bracelet ‘what would Jesus do’ cause I hop he [os] still here with me.”
4. Montgomery’s Son Died of a Drug Overdose in 2015
Tragedy struck Montgomery in September 2015 when his son, Hunter, died after a drug overdose. His death had initially been reported as an “accident.” Tracy Nunan said in a statement, via People Magazine, “When a family asks for privacy, there is a reason. Grieving the loss of a child is the most heart-wrenching experience any parent can imagine. It defies description.” Hunter Montgomery was survived by his infant son, Bennett.
5. Montgomery’s Little Brother Was in His Band’s First Incarnation
Both Montgomery and Gentry hail from Kentucky, Montgomery from Danville and Gentry from Lexington. Montgomery’s musical beginnings came when he was the drummer in Harold Montgomery and the Kentucky River Express, his parent’s band. The initial incarnation of Montgomery Gentry featured Montgomery’s younger brother, John Michael. At that time they went by the name Early Tymz.