08/13/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan
Dillingham, AK—A tragic plane crash occurred near Dillingham, Alaska, claiming the lives of five people, including former United States Senator Ted Stevens, and injuring four others on Monday, August 9, 2010. National Guardsmen apparently attributed the remaining four victims’ survival to a group of brave volunteers, as reported by ABC News.
According to Alaska National Guard spokesperson Maj. Guy Hanes, the pilot of a passing aircraft noticed the wrecked 1957 DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter aircraft and subsequently notified the Guard of the crash around 7 p.m. Monday. However, weather conditions initially hindered rescue operations.
Nonetheless, four Good Samaritans, including two emergency medical technicians, a doctor and a nurse, were dropped near the crash site by plane. They then proceeded to hike more than 1,000 feet before coming into contact with the downed aircraft.
The volunteers subsequently began to tend to the injured survivors and remained with them overnight. National Guardsmen Senior Master Sgt. Jonathan Davis stated, “They were all conscious, able to speak.”
“Undoubtedly, if they [the volunteers] hadn’t been there, not only might they not have survived the night, our extraction would’ve been much more difficult… They helped us enormously,” added National Guardsman Technical Sgt. Kristofer Abel.
Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials identified the plane wreck survivors as former NASA chief Sean O’Keefe, who suffered critical injuries in the aviation accident; O’Keefe’s son; 13-year-old William “Willy” Phillips Jr.; as well as lobbyist and former Stevens aid Jim Morhard.
Five others were not so fortunate. Those fatally injured in the Alaska plane crash were identified as Ted Stevens; 62-year-old pilot Theron “Terry” Smith; William “Bill” Phillips Sr.; along with 48-year-old Dana Tindall and her 16-year-old daughter Corey Tindall, according to the Alaska DPS.
Reports noted that Ted Stevens was aboard a Learjet aircraft that crashed on December 4, 1978, killing five people aboard. Stevens’ wife was among those fatally injured in that particular aviation accident.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were expected to conduct a full probe into the deadly Alaska plane crash.
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