Children, cooking, marriage, random stuff, funny stuff, photography, dogs, cats, depression... Whatever you're looking for, you might find it here! The modern 5 and dime.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The scariest moment of my life (Updated 2-9-06)

Tonight we took our dog to the dog park, like we do quite often. We were just getting ready to leave the dog park when we heard a strange noise above us. It sounded like "tick tick tick BOOM", my husband turned around, and I noticed a lot of people in the dog park looking up in the sky. I instantly felt dread and fear.

My husband stood up and grabbed my hand and said, "RUN!" with an urgency like I have never heard before. The dog park was full of people and dogs because it was after 4:30pm. Everyone was clamoring to run away, including the dogs. My first thought was, "Oh god, we're fenced in, the only exit is TOWARDS whatever is going on" and then my next thought was, "Oh god, there's a giant dog in front of me" and the next thing I knew, I was down flat face down on the ground.

My husband is still screaming, "RUN! RUN!" and he's trying to pull me up and when he realizes I'm hurt, he jumps on top of me in a desperate attempt to shield me.

I'm screaming, "What happened? What happened?" And no one will tell me.

I looked and saw black smoke. From the parking lot. I hear people saying, "Diesel" and "Explode" and "Cars on fire". Again, the exit is toward the parking lot, and I don't want to go near it.

My husband later said if he had to he would have pushed me over the fence.

It turned out a small plane and a helicopter collided with each other mid-air, right over the dog park. Which is near a playground, park, and high school. It was PACKED with people, because it was such a beautiful day.

I finally started to gather my thoughts and realized I didn't know where my dog was. A little corgi, he's much smaller than all the other dogs at the dog park today. I'm panicking because I can't find him, but it turns out he was happy as a clam, following all of the other dogs out the exit. My husband managed to find him, but I'm still crying as the horror of it all begins to sink in.

By this time, people had started to exit the dog park. The smoke from the parking lot is coming from where our car is, so now I'm screaming, "Did it hit our car?" Fortunately, it didn't. But a wing from the plane is on fire and laying next to our car.

My husband is saying that we need to get out right away. He goes and gets the car and drives it over to where I had escaped. As we drive out, he's telling me not to look at the other wreckage. It's maybe 50 yards from where I had held my daughter's birthday party not 3 months prior. It miraculously missed where all the people had been congregating. From what I hear, no one on ground was hurt. But it seems there are no survivors on either aircraft.

As we are driving out of the park, I'm crying big, heaving sobs, and my knee stings from where I cut it when I fell. We see many, many cars trying to make their way in the park, either to see the wreckage or to get their children from the high school, we don't know. As we drive the few blocks to our house, several fire trucks pass us.

I'm just feeling so fortunate that it missed us, it missed our car, it missed all the children. I'm so glad my daughter was not with us, because on any other day of the week she would have been with us. Watching the news 20 minutes later at home, the parking lot at the dog park is nearly empty- most people there had bolted like us, trying to get away from that terrifying scene.

Just those few seconds between the explosion and the crash were the most horrifying of my entire life. I'm so sorry that lives were lost. But I am so grateful that so many more were saved.

UPDATE1: As of 9:40 am this morning, the news channels are reporting that three people on board the two aircraft perished. Miraculously, no one on ground was injured. There was some damage to a home when a piece of the plane clipped it, and started an attic fire. But miraculously there, too, no one was home. They have confirmed one plane was a Cessna 172-RB. No confirmation on what the other aircraft was, original reports were it was an R22 Helicopter, commonly used for flight training. The authorities have determined a half mile square area to search for debris.

For local news sources on this still developing story, and if you are interested in photos, please visit my favorites:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/

13 Comments:

Blogger tugglespud said...

Egads. I'm so glad you and hubby are safe. AND Kona the wonder pooch. Life has a scary way of reminding us how brief and fragile it is. We're all very lucky. I love you -
the spud

6:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what makes a blog worth reading! Thank you for sharing your story in your blog! Glad you are safe!!!

Blabbing Mike of Blabbing Mike's Blog
http://www.newsblab.com

7:58 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a general aviation pilot, things like this always make you nervous.

I think it is time for GA pilots to recognize that all planes should have collision avoidance systems installed.

If you rent a plane you can easily purchase a portable unit that you can take home with you after the flight.. about the size of a radar detector.

MRX displays range and relative altitude of the closest threat, with continuous monitoring of the top 10 threats within the 5 NM scalable detection window. Altitude detection is scalable up to +/- 5000 ft.

All commercial planes have collision avoidance systems installed, and they fly in radar services.

Many times smaller planes fly out of radar services, and can perform any maneuvers they wish as long as they follow the FAR.

3:30 PM

 
Blogger GraceD said...

A BlogHerista here wanting you to know that I'm glad, so very glad, all of you on the ground were okay!

And your dog, cool as a cucumber, following the other dogs out the exit. That's great.

Many blessings to you,
GraceD

12:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard about this mid-air aircraft collision while on my way home from the Grossmont Walmart. I was running about 15 minutes later than usual, and probably would have seen the collision myself if I had left the store 5 minutes earlier. I'm glad I didn't. It was bad enough driving right by the area where the crash occured, and then seeing the news copters already circling the area.

What makes this incident upsetting to me, besides the obvious--is that earlier this very same day, I had a very vivid and detailed dream of an aircraft flying abnormally low in the area, and then suddenly falling down and crashing. In this dream, it also left pieces of wreckage strewn about the homes in this area. I remember running out of my house, and looking up suprised to see the craft flying so abnornally low and then just as startled to see it suddenly plunge into a canyon near our home.

Oddly enough, my dream interpreted the aircraft as the Space Shuttle! Which I have not heard of in recent news. I believe this was symbolic of the crash being mid-air and raining debris all over the ground below it. This was further emphasized when I read an account in the San Diego Union Tribune today of a witness describing the crash as "Like the Space Shuttle, only not as worse". I audibly gasped when I read that! Wow!

When I woke up from this dream, it was unsual in that I remembered almost every detail and it was much more vivid than usual. It had the feeling of a 'precognitive' dream which I have had several times previously in my life.

I was haunted all day by the feeling it was not a normal dream and had some meaning--until I heard the account of the mid-air collision on the radio on my way home about 4:55PM. It took me a moment or two to process the information-then with a dreadful realization it hit me that was the dream! There were too many similarities to just be 'coincidence'.

I am not a 'flake'; I've had precognitive dreams like this maybe 8 to 10 times in my entire life. But I do believe some people are sensitive enough to be 'tuned in' to events at certain times. I have no idea why, it certainly doesn't prevent these events from occuring as you really have no idea what they mean until they occur. But to have such a haunting dream come true only hours later, close to home--was very unsettling.

I symphathize with Wendy and her Husband's traumatic experience, and glad their dog is safe! I'm so sorry anyone had to experience that situation. I was fortunate in not being directly involved, as I was driving along Fuerte when the news came out on the radio and I looked over to see the crash site and news copters. I think something kept me in Walmart later than usual, as normally I would have been driving home or in the parking lot exactly around the time of the actual collision at 4:40PM. From the description of the collision, noise and resulting fireball I doubt I would have missed it being so close to the area.

Just wanted to put my 'two cents' in--when I woke up that day, I had actually shared the details of my dream with my Father--as it just seemed too hauntingly real and I wanted to document it. Sadly, it came true. So in my own way, I was disturbed by this incident in a very personal way although not nearly as badly as the people actually involved.

My heart goes out to all of you. God bless those people who died. :o(

4:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard about this mid-air aircraft collision while on my way home from the Grossmont Walmart. I was running about 15 minutes later than usual, and probably would have seen the collision myself if I had left the store 5 minutes earlier. I'm glad I didn't. It was bad enough driving right by the area where the crash occured, and then seeing the news copters already circling the area.

What makes this incident upsetting to me, besides the obvious--is that earlier this very same day, I had a very vivid and detailed dream of an aircraft flying abnormally low in the area, and then suddenly falling down and crashing. In this dream, it also left pieces of wreckage strewn about the homes in this area. I remember running out of my house, and looking up suprised to see the craft flying so abnornally low and then just as startled to see it suddenly plunge into a canyon near our home.

Oddly enough, my dream interpreted the aircraft as the Space Shuttle! Which I have not heard of in recent news. I believe this was symbolic of the crash being mid-air and raining debris all over the ground below it. This was further emphasized when I read an account in the San Diego Union Tribune today of a witness describing the crash as "Like the Space Shuttle, only not as worse". I audibly gasped when I read that! Wow!

When I woke up from this dream, it was unsual in that I remembered almost every detail and it was much more vivid than usual. It had the feeling of a 'precognitive' dream which I have had several times previously in my life.

I was haunted all day by the feeling it was not a normal dream and had some meaning--until I heard the account of the mid-air collision on the radio on my way home about 4:55PM. It took me a moment or two to process the information-then with a dreadful realization it hit me that was the dream! There were too many similarities to just be 'coincidence'.

I am not a 'flake'; I've had precognitive dreams like this maybe 8 to 10 times in my entire life. But I do believe some people are sensitive enough to be 'tuned in' to events at certain times. I have no idea why, it certainly doesn't prevent these events from occuring as you really have no idea what they mean until they occur. But to have such a haunting dream come true only hours later, close to home--was very unsettling.

I symphathize with Wendy and her Husband's traumatic experience, and glad their dog is safe! I'm so sorry anyone had to experience that situation. I was fortunate in not being directly involved, as I was driving along Fuerte when the news came out on the radio and I looked over to see the crash site and news copters. I think something kept me in Walmart later than usual, as normally I would have been driving home or in the parking lot exactly around the time of the actual collision at 4:40PM. From the description of the collision, noise and resulting fireball I doubt I would have missed it being so close to the area.

Just wanted to put my 'two cents' in--when I woke up that day, I had actually shared the details of my dream with my Father--as it just seemed too hauntingly real and I wanted to document it. Sadly, it came true. So in my own way, I was disturbed by this incident in a very personal way although not nearly as badly as the people actually involved.

My heart goes out to all of you. God bless those people who died. :o(

4:47 AM

 
Blogger CorgiNole said...

Absolutely heartstopping. I'm so glad that you and others at the park were not injured.

K

6:27 AM

 
Blogger Weniki said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I found it interesting to the person who posted about their dream: the night before my father had a dream that two small planes almost collided. I totally believe in premonitions.

Right before the accident happened, I turned to my husband and said, "Are you almost ready to go?" and then he said, "Just about." Next thing he turned his head, and well, you know the rest.

Now we joke, "Are you ready to go?", "Heck yeah!" :-)

9:50 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for publishing my comments about the crash and my dream. It sounds like your Father has the same ability! I think some people are just 'tuned in' to things at certain times.

The news has changed quite a bit-but I see you're updating so thanks for sharing!

PS: Sorry my previous lengthy comments somehow got posted twice. This form doesn't always work correctly.

5:13 PM

 
Anonymous Sharona said...

Hi Wendy - Jer and I are so glad to hear you, your hubby, and your dog, are safe. This sounds like just an awful, traumatic experience - yet amazing that no one was seriously hurt. Hugs to you both,
Sharona and Jeremy

8:49 AM

 
Blogger Carissa said...

Oh wow.....I would have been a blubbering mess. Thank goodness no one on the ground was hurt.

8:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How on earth can you be so out of empathy!
Three men to very young died in that awful accident. They were very skilled pilots and did theire very best and were very safety concius. The young men had a drea and a future and were very loved. And YOU said it was a trauma for YOuU, youre dog and youre car. You should be ashamed!
Mother of one of the young pilots.

12:35 AM

 
Blogger Weniki said...

Thank you to the mother of one of the pilots for your comments.

It was a trauma for me- I have been suffering from PTSD ever since the incident, nightmares, not sleeping, I've been sick. I am very sorry your son died, it is very tragic, I am sorry for your loss.

To say I did not experience a trauma is wrong. I had a flaming plane come down over my head and I was running for my life that day. I was gripped in a fear so great I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

It's not that I just witnessed this incident. I felt like I was trying to save my own life getting away from a plane crash.

It is a miracle no one on the ground was hurt. There were hundreds of children just yards away from where the planes crashed. All of us who where there that day feel like our own lives were spared.

I am not out of empathy for you or the other families. I think about you all every single day and about the 3 men that died every single day. It is a moment that will haunt me forever.

So please think carefully before you say such mean things to me. This blog entry was posted a mere half hour after the accident, these were my shaky thoughts in that moment of fear.

I had assumed that the families of the victims would be glad that more lives were not lost that day. This could have been a disaster that killed many, many people. I am sorry that 3 lives were lost, and perhaps you should have read more of my entries where I talked about the pilots and how sorry I was for them and their families.

I also never said the pilots were not skilled and safety-conscious: it was an accident, and I don't think we'll ever know what went wrong. It was sunset and that sun was bright and blinding, but who knows.

My feelings are very, very hurt by what you wrote, my life has been deeply affected by this tragedy, and I can't believe you would say that I shouldn't call it a trauma for me. I am suffering from a doctor diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I almost died that day, and what would my 7-year-old daughter do then without her mother? It scared me to the point where I am now in therapy and my life will never be the same.

I am sure I cannot understand how deeply this trauma has affected you, and you also cannot understand how it has affected my community and the people that are my neighbors and friends.

I would have expected the two of us could be friends since we are both so tied to this incident, and I am surprised by your response to me. My family is Swedish and I have many friends from Sweden, and I felt a kinship with the families for that reason. I am a mother, too, I would have wanted to befriend people who were there that day.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss, and I have the greatest empathy for all of the families.

12:30 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home