Eddie Montgomery's wife Jennifer has offered the first public statement from the Montgomery Gentry family following Troy Gentry's death in a helicopter crash on Sept. 8. In a brief tweet posted on Friday (Sept. 15), she thanked the duo's fans and friends for their love and support during an incredibly difficult time.

"We want to thank you for the outpouring of love, comfort and prayers," Montgomery wrote on Twitter. "Friends like you have helped us get through this difficult time."

The helicopter crash that killed Gentry took place in Medford, N.J.; he and Eddie Montgomery were scheduled to perform there that evening. The National Transportation Safety Board has issued its preliminary report on the crash, which expands upon initial reports that the helicopter pilot experienced mechanical issues prior to crashing.

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Gentry was removed from the helicopter crash wreckage at the scene but was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. In addition to Gentry, the helicopter’s pilot, James Evan Robinson, died in the crash; crews worked for hours to remove his body from the wreck.

“Known for his wide smile, Gentry was personally driven by faith, family and living life to the fullest,” Gentry’s official obituary reads. “One of his favorite Bible verses was Deuteronomy 31:6, which says, ‘Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.’”

celebration of life event in Gentry’s honor took place on Thursday (Sept. 14). Montgomery Gentry recently finished a new album, so fans have been able to hear one of Gentry's final songs, "Better Me," in recent days.

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