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Kentucky family remembers mother killed following accident with plane propeller

Feleshia was switching spots with her daughter when all of the sudden a tragic accident happened. Now, her family wants to share what she meant to them.

NELSON COUNTY, Ky. — A tragic accident Sunday afternoon at the Samuel Field Airport in Bardstown is now leaving a family in mourning.

A mother was killed after accidentally walking into the moving propeller of a small plane.

Now, family members of 37-year-old Feleshia Denham of Hardin County are opening up about who she was and the void that's left behind now with her gone.

Feleshia Denham was taking a quick flight from Elizabethtown to Bardstown with her daughter Emily and brother-in-law Seth when tragedy soon took over.

"I was 30 minutes away is the longest 30 minutes of my life trying to get to her," Chris Denham, Feleshia's husband, said.

Credit: Chris Denham

Chris is Feleshia's husband of 17 years, who also is the spokesperson for the Elizabethtown police department, responded as fast as he could after he got the call from his daughter.

"At no point, did I ever have any hope that my wife would still be alive when I got there. My main focus was getting there for my daughter and my little brother," Chris said.

Feleshia was switching spots with her daughter when all of the sudden the tragic accident happened.

"My wife much like myself has moved at a rapid pace will say everywhere she went. It was just a horrible, tragic mistake," Chris said.

"They went to exchange positions, and Emily was outside and her mom walked around the plane, and she just, unfortunately, walked into this propeller," Rayfield Houghlin, the Nelson County Coroner explained. 

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on Aug. 24 confirming that while the pilot was shutting down the engine, the mother exited the plane and ran into the propeller. 

Houghlin says it's something you never imagine.

"I've seen a lot of horrific things, but this is probably one of the worst accidents and it's an accident. You know? There's no doubt in my mind it's an accident." 

The fatal accident now leaving a hole in the hearts of the Denham family.

The couple's 16-year-old daughter Emily said this is the hardest thing she's had to go through but knows she and her dad have to continue to count on each other.

Credit: Chris Denham

"I'm really a mama's girl, and to lose my best friend like that, it makes me realize that my dad's my next best friend in life," Emily said.

However, she knows this is a void that can't be filled.

"What I've noticed so far is just having the woman touch just having the mother touch and not having a woman in my life."

Chris said his wife was one everyone loved but also relied on. Saying it's going to be hard to shift focus after a tragedy like this.

"We're gonna make something good come out of this, because we have to. But I just want people to live for the moment."

Chris said the love his wife had for the entire family is something irreplaceable, but that now he is working even harder to share that same love with his daughter.

"Now my focus is shifted wholeheartedly to my daughter and we're gonna make a great team."

Credit: Chris Denham

Both now working to navigate what life will be like without their rock.

► Contact reporter Ford Sanders at FSanders@whas11.com on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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