KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Whitney Good gave us the rundown on the biggest East Tennessee headlines of 2016 from beginning to end:
1: Gatlinburg sight seeing helicopter crash leaves 5 dead
In April, Smoky Mountain Helicopter Pilot Jason Dahl, 38, was killed, along with his four passengers, when the helicopter crashed on a ridge line near Rainbow Road in Pigeon Forge.
Kodak resident Johna Morvant, 49, her two children Parker Rasmussen, 18, and Peyton Rasmussen, 22, as well as Peyton Rasmussen’s boyfriend, Michael Mastalez, 21, were also killed.
The family has filed a federal lawsuit against the owner of Great Smoky Mountain Helicopters, Inc., Bobby Riggs.
Keith Morvant, Johna’s husband, and mother Lynne Frederick, Johna’s mother are suing Bobby Riggs claiming negligence and gross negligence.
2: Blue Angels pilot Jeff Kuss killed in plane crash during flight practice in Smyrna
Also in April, the pilot of a U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet was killed in a crash in Smyrna ahead of their weekend air show at the city’s airport.
The Blue Angels officially identified the pilot as Capt. Jeff Kuss. The U.S. Navy says the crash happened during the beginning states of an afternoon practice.
Kuss was taking off from Smyrna Airport to start afternoon practice when the mishap occurred. The other five Blue Angel jets were not involved in the incident and landed safely moments later.
3: State wide AMBER alert issued for Hawkins County 9-year old; search lasts for days before arrest of her captor, Gary Simpson
In May the reward for information leading to the safe return of a Rogersville 9-year-old at the center of an AMBER Alert grew to at least $41,000, just over one week after she went missing.
The 9-year-old was removed from school by her uncle by marriage, Gary Simpson, 57, under false pretenses, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Police say Gary Simpson told school officials the child’s father was in a car accident and she may not be in school. They said Gary Simpson has no custodial rights and their whereabouts were unknown.
The 9-year-old was recovered safely after being hidden in the woods of Hawkins County with Simpson for over a week.
In December, Simpson was charged with rape and sexual battery in relation to the case.
4. Pat Summitt passes away
In June Fans, friends, family and more came together to say a final goodbye to legendary Lady Vols Head Coach Pat Summitt.
A public Celebration of Life ceremony was held at Thompson Boling Arena, with thousands in attendance, ranging from friends and family, fans, former players, state dignitaries, colleagues and more.
Read More: Pat Summitt remembered
5: Zaevion Dobson receives posthumous award at the ESPY Awards.
In July Knoxville teen hero Zaevion Dobson posthumously received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.
Dobson was shot and killed in December of 2015 while shielding two girls, Faith Gordon and Kiara Rucker, from gunfire in what was described as a random gang related shooting. Zaevion Dobson was not involved in a gang.
Zenobia Dobson said in her acceptance speech her son’s shooting should serve as a rallying cry for tougher gun laws.
6: Maryville Police Officer Kenny Moats killed in the line of duty
Maryville Police Officer Kenneth Moats died after reporting to a domestic call on August 25.
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office said they believe Brian Stalans was setting up law enforcement for an ambush. Investigators found a letter in his house in which he blamed a family member and the Blount County Sheriff’s Office for his problems.
Brian K. Stalans was charged with first degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.
Members of the law enforcement, as well as Maryville Fire Department gathered to salute Officer Moats and say farewell to their friend and co-worker.
“We ask our citizens to remember this officer’s family. He has three small children. It’s a very trying time for his family. It’s a trying time for the men and women of the Maryville Police Department. It’s a trying time for the law enforcement in this community,” said Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp, holding back tears.
7: Vols beat Virginia Tech 54-25 at Battle At Bristol
In September, Tennessee ran away with a 45-24 win over Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Battle at Bristol was played in front of 156,990, breaking the FBS record of 115,109 set in 2013 when Michigan hosted Notre Dame.
“Just an unbelievable spectacle,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. “I think the reality hit our players when we came here yesterday for the walk through with all the campers and trailers again this is truly a special evening that we’ll remember for a lifetime.”
8: Chattanooga school bus crash leaves 6 children dead, several injured
In November The Chattanooga Police Department says at least six children were killed in Monday afternoon’s school bus crash.
The driver has been arrested and charged with five counts of vehicular homicide among other charges.
Johnthony Walker, 24, faces five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.
The bus carrying at least 35 children, from kindergartners to fifth-graders, from Woodmore Elementary School in Chattanooga crashed into a tree, officials said.
9: Sevier County wildfires cause millions in damage, leave 14 dead
Then in November, officials confirmed that 14 people died following the wildfires in Sevier County.
Officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park say the lack of text notifications during the evacuations in Gatlinburg Monday night was due to a “communication failure” between various agencies caused by disrupted communications systems.
Some residents told WATE 6 On Your Side they didn’t receive the alert on their mobile devices and others said it was broadcast after the fire had reached the city.
TBI Director Mark Gwyn announced two juveniles have been charged with starting the deadly wildfires in Sevier County.
The two were arrested and charged with aggravated arson. They are being held in the Sevier County Juvenile Detention Center.
District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn says it is being considered whether to transfer the case to adult court. Dunn says the two are from Tennessee, but not from Sevier County.