Woman Declared ‘Hero’ After Losing Baby In Alaskan Plane Crash [Video] [Photo]
CNN reports…“The small plane had crashed in an extremely remote part of Alaska, miles from the tiny village of St. Mary’s.It was an especially dark and foggy Friday night, and rescuers were having a hard time figuring out the location of the Cessna wreckage and its 10 passengers.
They could hear survivor Melanie Coffee on the phone but with the poor weather, it was a frustrating needle-in-a-haystack kind of task.
But Coffee, 25, made her way a half-mile across the slippery, sloping tundra and managed to find the town’s landfill, where she met the search party of 40 to 50 villagers and calmly guided them on foot back to the crash site. For four people, including her 5-month-old boy, it was too late. They had died from their injuries.
The others had wounds that included head injuries and multiple fractures.
Had it not been for her going for help, more victims might have died, said Clifford Dalton, a paramedic for LifeMed Alaska.
“The fact that she could make it out to an identifiable landmark really helped to expedite the aid that the rest of the patients were able to receive,” Dalton said. “What’s really remarkable about it is that she was tending to her infant child that was gravely injured at the time.”
The Anchorage Daily News reported that after the crash, Coffee used a cell phone to call the on-call health aide for St. Mary’s, population 500. Fred Lamont Jr. told the newspaper Coffee was trying to give her infant son CPR.
Dalton called Coffee a hero who put the needs of others before her own.
Dalton said he and his partner, Paul Garnet, helped treat the patients at the site. Six to eight villagers helped carry each survivor to the landfill, which was as close as the ambulances could get. Concerned residents also came to help from Mountain Village, about 25 miles away, where most of the victims were from.
Authorities are unsure why Hageland Aviation Flight 1453 crashed. It left Bethel at 5:40 p.m. and went down about four miles from the St. Mary’s airport.”