First-Hand Account

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

December 10, 2006

'Pegasus' often arrives on scene after they've been alerted, but Sunday afternoon they saw a an accident as it happened.

"(The pilot's) last words to the tower was 'I'm not going to make it,' and he was right," said Scott Single, a flight nurse for 'Pegasus.'

Hearing the final words from the pilot of the small Piper single-engine plane, medical crews from the emergency helicopter began following the distressed plane.

"As we were coming back here to CHO we were listening to the towers and had an aircraft that was in distress," explained Buck Deforge, a flight paramedic.

As the plane appeared over the mountains, Deforge heard a state of emergency declared and then saw the explosion.

"The woods were engulfed, part of the tail section was actually in the tree still, and the main fuselage and air craft was on the ground and on fire," said Deforge.

The crew says, based on personal experience, the chance of survival was slim. They searched the scene and realized there were no survivors.

"The entire thing was fully involved from the moment he hit the trees. Just devastating," said Deforge.

Paramedics say actually witnessing the plane's descent was a unique situation for them, and now their thoughts are with the victim's family.

"I think it was pretty sudden. I don't believe he suffered at all," said Single.

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