Town Reacts to Plane Crash

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

LOUISA, VA (WWBT)- Many of the residents in Louisa are still trying to digest the terrible plane crash that happened in their small town. All afternoon, folks from around the area were driving by, trying to get a closer look at the disaster site. State police kept shooing them away trying to keep the flow of traffic moving smoothly.

Seconds before the 1981 Cessna crashed into this Louisa home Logan Berlin watched as the plane teetered in the sky.

"It was a big boom, a big fire ball," said Berlin.

Berlin says he was the first one to run over to the house, and the only one who saw the resident walk out the back door alive.

"A gentleman, I don't know his name was coming out," recalled Berlin, "I hollered at him, 'is there anybody in the house' and he shook his head no, and got away from there," he said.

But since the crash, many others around town drove by to see the crash site first hand.

"I couldn't believe that a house like that could split in half," said Louisa County Middle School 8th grader James Cusick.

Spectators couldn't believe the resident survived.

"It was amazing," Louisa resident, Earl Paynter said as he drove by after seeing it on the news. "He's lucky to be alive and I'm glad he is, it was a bad thing to happen to him and destroy his house and somebody else had to lose his house too at the same time," he said.

Neighbor Chris Lloyd brought her camera out as soon as she got home from work. She says she remembers being inside that home now destroyed.

"Thank god, thank god, fortunately that's the old William Smiths home, and the Smith set up their entire basement as a kitchen and living room and a big wood stove in the basement," Lloyd said, "and they during the winter time, they lived there most of the time was in the basement, so he was very fortunate that was how the house was laid out," said Lloyd.

It's a sight unseen for most of Louisa, and in such a tight knit community like this, residents say they will ban together to help the neighbor who lost his home.

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