Fri, May 17, 2013
Cecelia Crocker Was Four Years Old When The Airplane She Was Aboard Went Down
The only survivor of an airliner accident in 1987 has finally talked publicly about the crash, though she does not remember the actual incident. Cecilia Crocker was four years old when the airplane on which she was a passenger went down near Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Crocker, who's last name was Cichan when the accident occurred, agreed to be interviewed for a new documentary "Sole Survivor." The Northwest Airlines MD-80 was departing Detroit for Phoenix when the accident occurred. The airplane banked slightly left just after getting airborne, clipping a light pole near the runway. The airplane impacted a rental car building, taking off the roof. The NTSB determined that the flight crew did not have the flaps set properly for takeoff, and that a cockpit warning system did not alert the crew to the problem.
The Associated Press reports that Crocker, who is now 30, said she thinks about the accident "every day." "I have visual scars. My arms and my legs. And I have a scar on my forehead," she said, adding that she had an airplane tattooed on her left wrist to remind her of "where I've come from." Her parents and brother were fatally injured in the accident. She was raised in Arizona by her aunt and uncle and largely shielded from media as she was growing up. She said she didn't really realize that she was the only person to survive the accident until she was in middle school. She said she suffered from survivors guilt, and often wonders why everyone else was killed in the accident, along with two people on the ground.
Still, Crocker says she is not concerned about flying, and does so frequently. She said the odds of being involved in another accident are "astronomical."
Crocker was one of four sole survivors from airplane accidents interviewed for the documentary, which will open in theaters later this year.
(MD-80 pictured in file photo. Not accident airplane)
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