LOCAL NEWS

Draper Couple Shares Story Of Surviving Plane Crash

May 31, 2021, 6:22 PM | Updated: Jul 5, 2023, 5:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A Draper couple said they feel lucky to be alive after their small plane crashed just feet before they could reach the runway.

Todd and Heidi Eldredge both broke their backs after their plane crashed in Bear Lake County on Saturday. The whole experience was surreal, but they said all they feel today is gratitude.

“We’re just very grateful we’re still here,” said Todd Eldredge.

He spoke to KSL-TV on Monday from his hospital room about the flight he won’t ever forget.

“I’ve had a few interesting incidents, but certainly never a crash landing before and hopefully never again,” said Eldredge.

The Eldredges were flying from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Saturday when the plane’s oil temperature started heating up.

Eldredge decided to head to the Bear Lake County Airport so they could stop and check it out, but then, more bad news.

“I was in the process of turning towards the airport and we lost our engine,” he said.

The plane glided for about six miles and the couple thought they’d make it, but about 75 feet before the runway, they realized they were going to crash.

“About 500 feet above ground, it was evident that we were not going to make it, so I told my wife I loved her,” said an emotional Eldredge. “I held her hand and told her to brace because this was going to be a rough one.”

The plane hit a six-foot high berm and tore off the landing gear.

“We hit a fence post. I saw the windshield shatter and then we kind of just skidded,” said Eldredge.

They also lost a wing in the crash, but Eldredge said they were lucky to have landed in a marsh, surrounded by water.

“I had 40 gallons of of fuel onboard when we landed. It could’ve been an absolute disaster and we had no fire,” said Eldredge.

Immediately after they crashed, people rushed to their aid.

The Eldredges were taken to a local hospital, but then brought back to the University of Utah Hospital.

They said from the time they crashed to the time they arrived home, there were dozens of people who helped them.

“You would’ve had to have been there to see how wonderful these people were,” said Eldredge.

They were grateful to everyone involved and they’re grateful to be alive and able to thank them.

“We were alive. First thing we did was held each other’s hands. I kissed her hand and said, ‘Hey, we’re OK,'” said Eldredge.

Heidi was released from the hospital on Sunday and Todd was expected to be released on Monday evening.

Both will be able to recover at home.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15, leading to multiple vehicles b...

Kiersten Nunez

Heat causes Interstate 15 buckling, damages multiple vehicles in Davis County

Excessive heat over the weekend caused road damage on Interstate 15, leading to multiple vehicles being damaged due to buckling pavement and large chunks of concrete.

48 minutes ago

An apartment went up in flames in West Valley City on July 14, 2024. (Scott Winterton, Deseret News...

Mark Jones

West Valley City apartment fire displaces 30 people; no injuries reported

A large fire has displaced 30 people following a West Valley City apartment fire on Sunday, according to the West Valley City Fire Department.

2 hours ago

Boyd Matheson follows the latest details after an attempted assassination was made on former Presid...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: The attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump

Boyd Matheson sits down for a special episode of Sunday Edition following the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump.

5 hours ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins Sunday Edition to discuss the International Olympic Comm...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: Mayor Erin Mendenhall

On the originally scheduled Sunday Edition, SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall joins the show to discuss the 2034 Olympics and downtown revitalization plans.

8 hours ago

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated s...

Brittany Tait

Utah’s newest Greek Orthodox Church ready to welcome worshippers

On Saturday, the St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church formally opened its doors as the newest dedicated sacred space in the valley.  

21 hours ago

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger Distr...

Mark Jones

The Speirs Fire is growing in size near Flaming Gorge

Crews in the Ashley National Forest are working to contain a fire on the Flaming Gorge Ranger District, south of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Draper Couple Shares Story Of Surviving Plane Crash