Courtland— A woman in Lawrence County is nursing a bump on her head and a nasty bruise on her arm from the first vehicle crash of her life. The vehicle involved? A Cessna plane.
Karen Hitt and four others were in the process of landing in Texas, when something went terribly wrong.
Hitt looks at video and pictures of the pile of twisted metal she crawled out of. On Wednesday, authorities moved the wreckage of the plane that crashed Saturday near Gladewater Municipal Airport in Texas.
"That was my last plane ride," said Hitt.
At 50 years old, she says she's never been involved in a crash of any kind until November 12th around 5 pm..
"We just started bouncing a lot more than should have been," she recalled. "I knew something was happening, but I didn't know what. I just went to hollaring 'What's wrong? What's wrong?.. And of course nobody had the time to say, you know no one could tell me anything and it was just over. It just stopped."
Hitt, who asked not to be on camera, described it all, sitting in her boss's office.
Her boss, Tim Taylor, who owns Taylor Construction in Courtland, was the pilot. He's been flying for at least 10 years.
Hitt says when the trouble started, Taylor shut off the engines midair, keeping the plane from flipping over.
"He was that good of a pilot," said Hitt. "He knew to shut it down and that's what saved all of us."
Taylor, his wife Cathy, her parents and Hitt all survived, although Taylor's mother-in-law is in critical condition.
It was the end of a day trip to Louisiana. Hitt drove back to Alabama the next day and says she'll never board another plane again.
"My feet's gotta be on the ground. No more chances," she said.
The NTSB is collecting information and plans to release a report in a few weeks. Hitt says it was very windy at the time and believes that's what caused Taylor to lose control. The Taylors say they'll stay in Texas until Taylor's mother-in-law improves.
IDENTIFICATION Regis#: 531MH Make/Model: C402 Description: 401, 402, UTILILINER, BUSINESSLINER Date: 11/12/2011 Time: 2230 Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Minor Mid Air: N Missing: N Damage: Substantial LOCATION City: GLADEWATER State: TX Country: US DESCRIPTION AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, WENT OFF THE RUNWAY AND THE GEAR COLLAPSED, GLADEWATER, TX INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 0 # Crew: 1 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 1 Unk: # Pass: 4 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 4 Unk: # Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk: WEATHER: 2253Z 18011 10 CLR 22/13 A2991 OTHER DATA Activity: Unknown Phase: Landing Operation: OTHER FAA FSDO: DALLAS, TX (SW05) Entry date: 11/14/2011