Crash Survivor: "All of a Sudden there was a Plane Headed for Us"

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

A father and son from Rio Grande County were on their way to Idaho to buy a truck when their Cessna 180 collided with another plane in midair.

They spoke to 11 News just minutes after the crash on Wednesday and shared their story of survival.

Tom and John Haefeli walked away from the crash without a scratch and John says it was all because of his son's quick thinking.

"All of the sudden there was an airplane headed for us and we tried to dive under him. We were headed straight for each other, head on," John Haefeli told 11 News on Wednesday.

Haefeli says his son Tom saved his life.

"He's a hell of a good pilot. He's probably the reason we made it."

Looking at the upside down Cessna, Tom says the images of what happened seconds before the crash keep flashing through his mind.

"I just couldn't believe we hit another plane. Then there for a little bit I thought what a way to go because it's gonna take a long time to hit the ground," Tom Haefeli told 11 News on Wednesday.

The Haefeli's say they had no time for fear as they tightened there seatbelts and yelled obscenities while Tom fought to get control of the plane.

"We just stayed with it til we hit the ground," said John Haefeli.

Now safe on the ground, the father and son still don't know how the planes hit.

"We saw them about two seconds before we hit them," said John.

What they do know is they're both alive.

"We're just extremely lucky," said Tom as he answered a phone call from his wife.

The Haefli's were not injured but an ambulence took them to St. Mary's hospital to get checked out. Last time 11 News spoke to the two men their wives are on their way to pick them up.


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