Monday, December 8, 2008

Close To Home

Canopy bits on neighbors' houses
Originally uploaded by soulcamp

I wasn't anywhere near Monday's tragedy, but a friend was.

HOLY SHIT. A PLANE JUST CRASHED IN MY BACKYARD was @Soulcamp's post this morning on a message board we both frequent. I was on the phone with him within two minutes.

"What the f-ck?" he answered.

"I was about to ask you that," I replied. "What the f-ck?" Actually, the plane had crashed less than a mile away, as SC later diagrammed. The bulk of the canopy landed on his neighbor's hourse, while bits of the canopy itself wound up on his roof.

Slowly, the news started trickling in, and I could picture the phones ringing at the assignment desks, the flustered desk editors hollering and calling anybody they could to hit the scene. More stations cut in for coverage, giving us more angles, more analysis, and a seemingly endless string of witnesses. I think @soulcamp was the only guy from his block who didn't call a station.

"Judging by the trail of canopy crumbs, it flew directly over my house and about 5 others before it struck," he wrote on the board. "I'm guessing it was no more than 100 feet above the top of my house when it went over, which makes sense because I only heard it for about 2 seconds before the explosions."

A woman from my old writing group was the first to see the pilot after he ejected and landing. She showed the writers a picture of the pilot calling somebody, drinking water. He appeared to escape relatively unscathed. No word on whether the woman shared her shot with the media.

It was a few hours before we learned about the casualties. A woman and two young children. The plane came perilously close to hitting a local high school, and as bad as today's news was, that drove home the fact that it could have been even worse.

1 comment:

soulcamp said...

If you scroll a bit in my projected flight path diagram, you'll notice that right before it passed over my house, it passed over the corner of a elementary school which is only a block away. It looks like the ATC gave the pilot a flight path that perfectly split the elementary school and high school. Wow. Just, wow.