Local

Survivor describes moments before Panama plane crash

A man from Wisconsin recovering from a plane crash in Panama shares the frantic moments on the plane and the reason why he returned to the scene. Panama became Anthony and Deb Welleman’s second home. The photos show the scenic view, friends and life in a different country for the couple. “We were there most of the time,” said Anthony Velleman. He said it was their dream to live there. “Obviously, it’s not ours anymore. It’s mine and it’s not my dream. It’s a nightmare,” he said. It’s a nightmare because Deb, 70, and their girlfriend Sue Borries, 57, from Illinois, died in a plane crash. Both women were retired teachers. On January 3, the Vellemans and their friends were returning from a New Year’s Eve getaway. A short flight from Contadora Island to Chame Airport in Panama. Others on their team, including Borries’s husband, had returned on a different flight. “I was sitting in front of the plane,” Velleman said. “Melissa, another friend of ours, was sitting in the back. Both Sue and Deb were sitting in the middle seats. There are no doors in the middle seats.” said Velleman on the sister station WISN 12 News about two-thirds of the way to the destination, he felt a vibration. “I said, ‘What is this?’ said Wellman. He said he got worse and described an engine problem, a loss of altitude and a May call. “Suddenly a bang was heard,” he said. “I’m sitting on the right side of the plane, on the right side of the plane. I can see straight. A piston, literally a piston, was thrown out of the engine cylinder. Just bang! It came flying out of the plane.” he wanted to not remember anything about the flight and what happened. “That’s why I wish I could not remember all this reason, then I should have said it, the moment I did not even think about it. He turned to the women and told them to lean on him. He said he did not know if they leaned on him before the collision. “I remember looking,” he said. Then, I’m out. I remember a click. “The plane crashed into the ocean off the coast of Panama. There were three survivors,” he said. “The pilot, me and Melissa. Sue and Deb did not make it. “A refrigerator from the plane became a lifeline. Weleman said he put it” his left arm around it and hung for a lifetime. And I said to Melissa, ‘Melissa, get out of me.’ ” I hung up on it, I guess it was two o’clock. ‘ “It ‘s hard to accept that they would not send anyone down,” he said. Bruce’s Legacy, a nonprofit organization providing search and retrieval assistance for drowning victims Keith Cormican of Bruce’s Legacy flew to Panama, found the plane nearly two miles off the coast and picked up the two Wellman said the plane was still in about 72 feet of water with “horrible” currents. was some of his wife’s ashes. Hours later, he made his return trip to Panama “Where I said I would never go again,” he said. His return was part of the healing process. Just in Panama, he took a boat to the crash site and scattered more of Deb’s ashes. He also met with friends, strangers and volunteers who cared for the families and worked on the search and recovery effort in the hours, days and weeks following the accident. “This is a gathering to thank everyone who helped,” he said. “And there were a lot of people who helped.” One of these people he wanted to find was the fisherman who found them in the water and got help. “I have to thank this fisherman,” he said. On his return to Panama, Welleman had this opportunity when he found the man. In June, the Welleman family plans to celebrate Deb’s life in Wisconsin. Anthony Welleman is still recovering from his injuries. He spent time in hospitals in Panama and Wisconsin after the accident. “They said I had a broken back, a broken arm, a shoulder, a left key, a right key, a thumb, a concussion, plus some other trivial things,” he said. “It will be a long time before I return to my normal state.” Watch the video above for the full story.

A man from Wisconsin recovering from a plane crash in Panama shares the frantic moments on the plane and the reason why he returned to the scene.

Panama became Anthony and Deb Welleman’s second home.

The photos show the scenic view, friends and life in a different country for the couple.

“We were there most of the time,” said Anthony Velleman. He said it was their dream to live there.

“Obviously, it’s not ours anymore. It’s mine and it’s not my dream. It’s a nightmare,” he said.

It’s a nightmare because Deb, 70, and their girlfriend Sue Borries, 57, from Illinois, died in a plane crash. Both women were retired teachers.

On January 3, the Vellemans and their friends were returning from a New Year’s Eve getaway. Short flight from Contadora Island to Chame Airport in Panama.

Others on their team, including Boris’s husband, had returned on a different flight.

“I was sitting in front of the plane,” Weleman said. “Melissa, another friend of ours, was sitting in the back. Both Sue and Deb were sitting in the middle seats. No doors in the middle seats.”

Welleman told his brother WISN 12 News about two-thirds of the way to their destination, he felt a tremor.

“I said, ‘What is this?’ said Wellman.

He said he got worse and described an engine problem, a loss of altitude and a May call.

“Suddenly a bang was heard,” he said. “I’m sitting on the right side of the plane, on the right side of the plane. I can see straight. A piston, literally a piston, was thrown out of the engine cylinder. Just a bang! It came flying out of the side of the plane.”

He said he would like to remember nothing about the flight and what happened.

“That’s why I wish I did not remember all this reason, then that was what I had to say, the moment I did not even think about it, I should have turned to the women and told them to stick. “He could not stand it,” said Welleman.

He said he did not know if they were supported before the collision.

“I remember looking,” he said. “We are just under 300 feet and it is imminent. Then, I’m out. I remember a bang. Like a bump, but not clear.”

The plane crashed into the ocean off the coast of Panama.

“There were three survivors,” he said. “The pilot, me and Melissa. Sue and Deb did not make it.”

A refrigerator from the aircraft became a lifeline. Welleman said he put his “left arm around him and hung himself for a lifetime.

And I said to Melissa, “Melissa, come to me.”

Welleman said four of the five passengers were Americans and the United States government would not send equipment or search teams to the area.

“It is difficult to accept that they would not send anyone down,” he said.

The sister station WISN 12 News contacted the US Embassy in Panama several times with questions but received no answers.

Among those who helped in the search and recovery, an organization from Black River Falls, Wisconsin.

The non-profit Bruce’s Legacy provides search and recovery assistance for drowning victims. Keith Cormican from Bruce’s Legacy went to Panama, found the plane almost two miles off the coast and took the two bodies.

Welleman said the plane was still in about 72 feet of water with “horrible” currents.

Velleman spoke with his brother WISN 12 News in late April from Hawaii, where he scattered some of his wife’s ashes. Hours later, he made the return trip to Panama.

“Where I said I would not go again,” he said.

His return was part of the healing process. Just in Panama, he took a boat to the crash site and scattered more of Deb’s ashes. He also met with friends, strangers and volunteers who cared for the families and worked on the search and recovery effort in the hours, days and weeks following the accident.

“This is a gathering to thank everyone who helped,” he said. “And there were a lot of people who helped.”

One of these people he wanted to find was the fisherman who found them in the water and got help.

“I have to thank this fisherman,” he said.

On his return to Panama, Velleman had this opportunity when he found the man.

In June, the Velleman family plans to celebrate Deb’s life in Wisconsin.

Anthony Welleman is still recovering from his injuries. He spent time in hospitals in Panama and Wisconsin after the accident.

“They said I had a broken back, a broken arm, a shoulder, a left key, a right key, a thumb, a concussion, plus some other trivial things,” he said. “It will be a long time before I return to my normal state.”

Watch the video above for the full story.

Survivor describes moments before Panama plane crash Source link Survivor describes moments before Panama plane crash

Related Articles

Back to top button