Two Phenix City witnesses to Nevada air crash tell their story - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Two Phenix City witnesses to Nevada air crash tell their story

By Katherine Kington -  bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) -  Nancy Clark has been going to air races, like the one in Nevada Friday, for years. She loves them but has never seen an accident like she did in Reno this past weekend.

She says, "he was pulling out of the race, we saw him go up and we heard a pop." Brenda Johnson, adds, "I couldn't tell you how far it went but it went pretty high and for me it's like time stood still…nothing. And then all of the sudden, the nose went down and it was plummeting in to the ground and at the point I realized it was going to be a crash and turned away."

We spoke with Clark and Brenda Johnson in Phenix City. Four days ago, they were watching the air show race from the pit. They recall the eerie feeling as they looked towards the boxed seats where the collision took place. Clark says, "I think everyone was just frozen and then they started to direct people that weren't injured to leave the area."

Johnson says "mostly what I heard was not really screams but the sucking in of breath and people they got quiet, like I can't believe it."

As Johnson looks at images on her camera of moments before the crash, there's one image she can't get out of her mind, the story of a man she spoke with that was sitting right next to the boxed seat that was struck.

"He got up and they looked , he said he saw a boxed seat full of arms and legs and heads and blood and he said there was a little boy in a wheelchair that did not survive."

"I've never seen anything like that in my entire life." Added Clark.

11 people have been reported dead with dozens more injured many losing limbs. While the crash was horrific, many of the witnesses believe the pilot, Jimmy Leeward, was a hero and saved hundreds of lives.

"I do believe he pulled away from the main drag of people." Said Clark.

Johnson says she knows her body was there but it's as if her mind won't believe it.

"It is almost like it was a dream and we kept expecting to wake up."


©2011 WXTX. All rights reserved.

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