Anonymous/Alaska State Troopers
Image from Alaska State Troopers shows the wreckage of the amphibious plane carrying former Sen. Ted Stevens which crashed into a remote mountainside.
It is hard to believe anyone can survive a small plane crashing into a mountainside. It's even harder to imagine what it's like being one of the survivors amid the wreckage for hours on end.
Details of the Monday crash in Alaska that claimed the lives of five people, including former Sen. Ted Stevens, emerged today and they were horrifying.
From an Associated Press story:
Former Sen. Ted Stevens lay dead in the mangled fuselage of the plane. A 13-year-old boy escaped death but his father died a few feet away. Medical workers spent the miserable night tending to survivors' broken bones amid a huge slick of fuel that coated a muddy mountainside...
... As he helped shuttle a doctor and two EMTs to the scene about three hours after the crash, Tom Tucker described seeing a survivor still strapped in the front seat with the nose of the plane disintegrated. His head was cut, and his legs appeared to be broken.
"The front of the aircraft was gone," Tucker said. "He was just sitting in the chair."
He and other responders made a tarp tent over the missing cockpit to keep him dry. It was rainy and cold, and he believes the passengers' heavy duty waders protected them when they went into shock. Temperatures ranged from about 48 degrees to 50 degrees overnight at Dillingham.
"These individuals were cold. We covered them up with blankets and made them as comfortable as we could..."
... The victims were identified as Stevens; pilot Theron "Terry" Smith, 62, of Eagle River; William "Bill" Phillips Sr.; Dana Tindall, 48, an executive with GCI; and her 16-year-old daughter Corey Tindall.
The four survivors were former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe and his teenage son; William "Willy" Phillips Jr., 13; and Jim Morhard, of Alexandria, Va. They were taken to Providence Hospital in Anchorage with "varying degrees of injuries," Alaska State Troopers said on Tuesday.