ATLANTA -- A U.S. Marine from Georgia is among the dead after an aviation training accident that killed seven Marines.

Lance Cpl. Corey Little, 25, of Fayetteville was a Huey helicopter crew chief who died in the crash this week in California, his mother Wanda Little said.

"He loved his country," she said. "He was married, and was expecting his first child in September."

Wanda Little is a native of Covington; her parents Charles and Sylvia Conner still live in Covington.

It could take weeks to determine what caused two helicopters, an AH-1W Cobra and a UH-1 Huey, to crash in midair during a routine exercise Wednesday night, killing all aboard the aircraft, officials said. Skies were clear and the weather was mild.

Little graduated from Sandy Creek High School in 2004 and played baseball while growing up in Fayetteville.

"He loved the outdoors," his mother said in a telephone interview. "He loved to read. He was a very avid reader."

He leaves behind his wife, Nicole Little. The couple lived in the San Marcos, Calif., area near the base where he was stationed, his mother said.

The accident was one of the Marines' deadliest aviation training accidents in years.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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