Neighbors recall memories of South Bend plane crash - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors recall memories of South Bend plane crash one year later


It was St. Patrick's Day - one year ago - that a private plane crashed into three homes on North Iowa Street.

The Beechcraft Premier 1, carrying four people, crashed. The pilot and co-pilot...58-year-old Wes Caves and 60-year-old Steve Davis of Tulsa, Oklahoma...were killed. A preliminary report shows the plane lost all power and the hydraulics failed. The pilots tried landing the plane, making two attempts at landing, but both were unsuccessful. On their third attempt, they crashed into a row of homes here on Iowa Street.

"I've never seen so many fire trucks and ambulances," says Brittany Morgan, recalling the scene one year ago. Morgan had just moved to the neighborhood about a month before the crash. She says, "What other kind of event can happen to make you realize how precious life is."

Morgan says she can't believe it's already been a year since the crash. "I was in the shower, and I heard this big rumble - almost like, 'was that a big trash truck?' Then a police officer was banging on the door, evacuating everybody," she recalls.

Morgan acted quickly not totally sure what was going on. "I rushed out," she says. "Got the most random thing to wear. Grabbed the kids."

Frank Sojka was also home when the crash happened but much closer to the impact. "I came out, and I saw sky through the roof," says Sojka. The plane crashed right next door and also heavily damaged his home. It took months before he could move back in.

The two houses next to Sojka's had to be torn down. The lots still sit empty. No word yet on what the future holds for them.

We're also still waiting on the NTSB to release its compete report. That was expected to take at least a year.

Meanwhile, folks on the street say things are mostly back to normal. Though Sojka says any time a plane takes off, "I get kinda concerned, yeah."

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