Neighbors Create Memorial After Victims Identified In West Jordan Plane Crash
WEST JORDAN, Utah — Neighbors and community members created a makeshift memorial with flowers and teddy bears after three people, including a 9-month-old baby girl, were killed in a small plane crash in West Jordan.
“It’s just like a nightmare that you would never want to have,” said Cindy Waldron.
“All night long, I tried to lay down and go to sleep, and I could just see the plane… I could see those little eyes and that 12-year-old… and I could see Mary,” Fred Waldron said.
It’s a nightmare Cindy and Fred said they’re still processing.
“I mean it was a huge, huge ball of fire,” said Fred. “It was up over the trees. It just engulfed that whole area.”
“We just kept talking to her, but she was badly burned,” Cindy said.
The Waldrons are waiting for news of their long-time friend and neighbor, 72-year-old Mary Quintana, whom they helped rescue from the crash.
Quintana was home when a single engine Piper PA-32R crashed right next to her house.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the plane was traveling from South Valley Regional Airport to Page, Arizona.
“It almost made it over Mary’s house,” said Fred. “The wing hit that roof and just pulled it off, and that actually broke the fall of the plane a little bit.”
“The plane hit the ground and blew up. Immediately the house was on fire,” Cindy said.
Cindy and Fred said they heard the plane’s engine and ran outside to see it crash, along with multiple other neighbors.
“All I saw was that the deck was on fire and I could hear screaming, but I couldn’t locate where she was at all,” Cindy said. “There were too many flames and smoke.”
Cindy immediately thought of Mary, knowing she was home. She eventually spotted her on the deck of her backyard.
“She came to the side of the deck and was trying to get off of the deck, and that’s when we were able to get people to help her,” Cindy said.
Fred ran towards the plane where he said he found a mother frantically pulling three children from the plane. Fred believes the woman was 36-year-old Rebecca Wyckoff, one of the plane’s passengers identified by West Jordan Police.
At last report, Rebecca was listed in critical condition.
“She was burnt — scars and blood, ash, dirt, black all over. She was fighting like the dickens to get her kids out of there,” Fred said.
Police said there were six passengers on the plane — three adults and three children.
The children included 9-month old Coral Wyckoff who died.
“The mother handed me this little bundle,” Fred said.
They then rescued 2-year-old Cody Mitchell, who suffered severe burns, and 12-year-old Veda Sheperd, who miraculously walked away from the crash.
“The little 12-year-old… I looked and I saw she was sitting in the back of the pilot seat, her eyes were just big as dollars, stunned. I still see that image,” said Fred.
Fred said other men ran to the pilot’s aid, using a pocket knife to cut his seatbelt and drag him out of the plane. The pilot was identified as 43-year-old Lee Wyckoff.
“They said he was still alive then, [but he] didn’t make it,” Fred said.
Fred said he then turned his attention to Cindy, who was helping Mary near the home.
“They were afraid that the house was going to fall and get her and Mary,” Fred said.
Fred said he, along with other neighbors, “just grabbed the fence and pulled it and just ripped it open. We pulled it off the ground and then slid Mary out underneath.”
It wasn’t until later that Fred said first responders found the body of 36-year-old Milda Shibonis.
“I thought there was just five [passengers], and they said no there is six,” Fred said. “She must have been in the third row back… it was a six-seater [plane].”
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) July 26, 2020
Officials towed away the plane Sunday afternoon.
As the investigation continues, the Waldron’s pray for the families affected and survivors fighting for their lives, including Mary.
“We’re just hoping the best for Mary,” Fred said.
A GoFundMe account* has been created to help Quintana’s family with medical costs.
*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.
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