Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Close Call

Friday morning began like any other day for my parents. My dad decided to go flying in his plane, which had lately become his favorite pastime. He picked up a passenger and headed to a small town just outside of Indianapolis, IN to look at a possible job situation.

As he was attempting to land in the small grass landing strip, he realized he was coming in too fast, and chose to go back up in the air and turn around to try again. This is not uncommon, but he was unfamiliar with this airstrip, and in the blink of an eye, the tail of his plane clipped some power lines nearby and sent his plane pummelling to the ground. He crashed, upside down, on top of 3 vehicles in a used car lot. He and his passenger, with adrenaline rushing through their bodies, ran from the wreckage as fast as they could, sure that the plane, which was leaking fuel, would soon burst into flames.

Two people at the used car lot barely escaped being hit by the plane, and were soon used to assist my dad and his fellow passenger, who by this time, were in the beginning stages of shock. Steve said that he couldn't see anything through the blood that was pouring out of his gashes into his eyes. He was rushed by ambulance to Methodist Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis soon afterwards.

His injuries, while quite painful, were minor, considering the accident he had just endured. He has some broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a punctured lung, and deep lacerations over most of his body. Part of his lip was missing, leaving an empty hole, which needed to be repaired. And his rotator cuff (which was torn earlier this year), is now worse than ever. But, for the most part, there were no major injuries reported. His fellow passenger fared even better. He only suffered some minor scratches and bruises, and was released from the local hospital he had been taken to, glad to have a new lease on life.

Dad is currently staying at the hospital for observation a few more days before he will be released to go back home. He does, however, have some recovery time ahead of him. He will not be able to work (he is a painting contractor), and may never fly again. There is still an investigation going on through the FAA, detailing the crash and trying to figure out what went wrong.

Overall, however, we are all so very grateful to have him alive and well (for the most part). God's merciful hand was in this situation the whole time. He crashed in Indiana, within driving distance of most of his family members, who were able to rush to his bedside while my mom was frantically trying to drive from TN to get to him. This accident brought back some pretty painful memories for the whole family... one of Steve's brothers died in a small plane crash several years ago. Needless to say, they were all very relieved that they did not have to relive that horrible situation again.

We are all very grateful to have Dad back with us after such a scary ordeal. We appreciate all of the prayers that went up on our behalf, and we know that the Lord heard those prayers and answered them by sparing the life of our beloved husband, father, and grandfather.

For those who are interested, here are some video stories of the crash from a couple of the local news stations in the area. Not all of the facts are accurate, but for the most part, they will give you an idea of just how blessed Dad is to be alive!!!

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