11 Dead After Reno Air Race Crash
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(UPDATED 4:15pm 9/20/11)
11 people died and more than 50 were injured at the Reno Air Races Friday afternoon.
All have been identified. The list of confirmed dead, with information from the Associated Pressis as follows:
- Jimmy Leeward, 74, of Ocala, Fla. He was piloting the P-51 Mustang when it went out of control and crashed. He was a movie stunt pilot with years of experience in air racing.
- Greg Morcom, 47, of Washington state was with four family members and attending the show for the first time. Ron Morcom Jr. of Everett, Wash., said his brother was killed instantly when the plane crashed.
- Michael Wogan, 22, of Scottsdale, Ariz., had muscular dystrophy and was sitting with his father, Bill Wogan, in an area for wheelchairs at the air show's VIP boxes - near where investigators say the World War II-era plane crashed. Bill Wogan was seriously injured.
-Regina Bynum, 53, of San Angelo, Texas, was a branch office assistant for an investment company and came every year to the races with her husband, a pilot. She was watching the race with her husband and a group of friends when a piece of crash debris struck her.
-Sharon Stewart, 47, of Reno, Nev., has four children, and lost five other children to miscarriages and a car accident. She lived with her longtime boyfriend in a Reno trailer home. She was working at the event cleaning trash at the race grounds.
- George Hewitt, 60, of Fort Mohave, Ariz., was a recently retired pilot and had served in the Canadian air service. He attended the show with his wife and a Washington-based group of vintage airplane owners.
- Wendy Hewitt, 56, of Fort Mohave, Ariz., was a volunteer with the United Way, American Red Cross and charities devoted to low-income children and women. She attended the show with her husband and a Washington-based group of vintage airplane owners.
-John Craik, 45, Gardnerville, Nev., was at the race with his 12-year-old son, who was not seriously injured.
-James McMichael, 47, of Graham, Wash., is survived by his wife and an extensive family. His mother said he "loved planes."
- Craig Salerno, 50, of Friendswood, Texas, was a dispatcher for Continental Airlines and a lieutenant for a volunteer fire department. He also volunteered at an annual Houston air show and was an avid racing pilot. Salerno was attending the races with a friend, who was hospitalized with critical injuries. He is survived by his wife and their two young children.
- Cheryl Elvin, 71, of Lenexa, Kansas, was attending the show with her husband and two sons, who were all badly injured.
NTSB investigators recovered memory cards believed to be from a video camera on board the plane. They also have flight data that the airplan'es crew recorded.
One of the planes in the unlimited class ran into spectators.
The stands were packed for the annual Reno Air Races.
On one of the laps at about 4:30 in the afternoon, a modified P-51 Mustang suddenly shot up and then down- right into the crowd.
This video (warning: disturbing images) of the crash posted to youtube shortly after it happened.
It shows the plane slammed right into the VIP seating area sending flying debris into the crowd.
Jim Harker says it looked like the pilot made a last-ditch effort to miss the bleachers.
Harker: "He was trying to get forward to miss the stands otherwise the way we initially saw it, it was a straight line right into the grandstand."
The pilot who died was 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward of Florida, who'd flown in the races since the 1970's.
It's the first time spectators have been killed in an air races crash.
Organizers responded by canceling the rest of this year's event.
The crash packed Reno area emergency rooms with patients.
Hospitals had to fly in supplies of blood from other cities to help victims.
Tens of thousands of people witnessed the crash- including other pilots like Frederick Telling.
He could only look on helplessly from the ground as his friend's plane dove into the crowd.
Telling: "It's hard to imagine. All I remember saying was 'oh god, Jimmy.' He was a great individual."
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
It could be months before there's a final report.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)