Henrico fire fighters who helped save a pilot's life in a terrible crash at Richmond International Airport two years ago were recognized tonight for their heroic efforts.
For the pilot, Tony Carr, April 11th 2011 was a horrific night.
"It started out like any other night at work for me, as I was taking off in the Piper Navajo, I lost my left engine and shortly after the take off run and that's the last conscious memory I have of the accident," said Carr.
He suffered extensive burns and fractures to his face, ribs and pelvic area.
Since then Carr has had about 19 surgeries...his recovery has progressed significantly but is ongoing.
His story of survival has inspired many - especially those who helped save his life...and continue to help him have a life.
At the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond - the team of people - all 25 emergency and hospital caregivers received The Order of the Shining Knight recognition for their work.
"To me every one of them are heroes and they're beyond rescuers and supporters, they're family, their friends," said Carr.
Among the recipients, Henrico fire fighters: Captain Kevin Garber and Lieutenant Jackson Baynard:
"Tony is our true hero, this is our job, this is what we do, we see this every day except he chose to put us up on the spot light for his recovery efforts," said Garber.
"I really believe Tony is the hero in all of this his sheer will to survive and push forward and his story of survival is inspiring to me and the other folks at engine company 6," said Baynard.
"It's very emotional but it's definitely a very happy experience I'm so glad to celebrate my life and the work the service these ladies and gentlemen have done to help preserve and give me a great life," said Carr.
In a report issued 15 months after the crash, the NTSB says Carr failed to maintain adequate airspeed during the initial climb, causing the plane to stall, and then fall to the ground. No mechanical issues or engine failures were noted in the report.
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