These heroes deserved our public thanks.
* Vancouver Sun, “Video: Plane-crash heroes tell their stories”
“Jeremy Kerr, John Redmond, Haim Peri and Shawn Nagurny share a common bond even if they don’t know one another.
They were among the small group of men who, against all odds, pushed their way into the flaming fuselage of Northern Thunderbird Air Flight 204 to drag injured passengers to safety after the small aircraft crashed Thursday in Richmond, near Vancouver.
None of the men sought public attention in the days after the incident, but they have now come forward, largely out of the cathartic need to talk about what they experienced. The trauma of being thrown into the situation of becoming unexpected heroes has weighed heavily.
As the men carried or dragged the victims out, as many as two dozen other Good Samaritans offered help, carrying the injured to a grassy area not far from the wreckage. Redmond says all who responded — from those who offered first aid to those who sprayed car fire extinguishers on the flaming wreckage in the vain hope of beating back the flames — deserve credit.
But it was Kerr, Redmond, Peri, Nagurny and several as-yet unidentified men who entered the aircraft, suspending common sense to risk their lives for the people on board.
Here are their stories.
[…] At first, he said, he didn’t know why he helped out. It was an autonomic reaction for him to race over, he said. In hindsight, he now knows he did so out of extreme compassion.
“Waiting for help to arrive wasn’t an option,” he said. “If they were my loved ones on board, I would hope that someone would do the same for me.” […]
Some of the events around what happened are blurry to Kerr. He says he doesn’t remember the faces and names of the other heroes who worked with him. “It’s like looking down the barrel of a straw,” he said. “All I can remember is the victims.” […]
[…] He drove straight through an intersection, stopped the car “a little bit too close to the airplane,” grabbed his steering-wheel club in case he needed something to smash through windows to free people, and ran as fast as he could toward the airplane. Read the rest of this entry »