Marine from Fayette County killed in helicopter crash

One of the Marines killed in Wednesday night's collision of two helicopters during a training exercise along the California-Arizona border was from Fayette County.

Corey Little was a 2004 graduate of Sandy Creek High School in Fayette County, and attended Southern Polytechnic State University before joining the Marines in 2009.

Little, a lance corporal, was among seven Marines who died when an AH-1W Cobra and UH-1 Huey collided and crashed near the Chocolate Mountains. Little was a crew chief on the Huey, according to his brother, Nickolas Little.

Little, 25, leaves behind a wife, Nicole, who is pregnant.

"He was the best husband in the world," Nicole Little told the AJC Friday. "He would do anything for me. He was my best friend."

She said she moved to Atlanta from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the two met while working at a Chili's restaurant in Cobb County in 2007.

She said she was three months pregnant with their first child and that Corey will "always be there through the child."

She said funeral plans were incomplete but that Little would be buried in the Atlanta area, probably sometime next week.

Nickolas Little said in an email to the AJC that his brother "was like no other person. He never met a stranger in his life. ... He always knew how to make things better with just a look or even his crooked smile. He was my best friend, the best brother, the best husband, and the best father anyone could ask for. No words can describe who he is except for great and loving."

Nickolas Little said he had received hundreds of messages "from people he touched throughout his short life."

He said he and Corey had both planned to join the Marines since they were young boys and had "long discussions about the Marine Corps and what we each wanted to do while in it."

Nickolas said he still plans to join the Marines, "not only for myself but also to honor my brother."

Wednesday's accident was the fifth since March involving the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station near San Diego.

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing includes personnel stationed at Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona.

Six of the Marines killed Wednesday night were from Camp Pendleton and one was from the Yuma air station. The names of the other Marines were not immediately available.

The two helicopters were flying in a remote area of the 1.2 million-acre Yuma Training Range Complex as part of a two-week standard training called "Scorpion Fire" that involved a squadron of about 450 troops.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.