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Something inside Laurie told her that their flight wasn't going right. When she looked out the window, she says she noticed that the trees seemed too close and the mountains looked like they were directly in the plane's path. "I didn't even have a chance to think of what was happening," she says. "I was in this shock. I remember hearing Macallan. He just cried, and it was this cry of nervousness. That just panicked me."

The small plane lost altitude fast. Then, it suddenly crashed, exploding on impact. "I could feel the heat," Laurie remembers. "I knew we had to get out. I remember going into some kind of craziness, and I started screaming, 'Get my baby!'"

Clyde lunged into the inferno to try to rescue Macallan. Laurie says she screamed for her son, but when Clyde returned he said, "I'm sorry, but I didn't get him out."

As Laurie lay on the ground next to the plane, she says she could see her son still strapped in his car seat. He had died moments after impact.

Stranded in a remote area, the pilot left Laurie and her husband, who had burned more than 75 percent of his body, behind to search for help. Five hours later, rescuers finally arrived. "We were getting loaded onto the helicopter, and there was this man sitting there in a seat and his head was like the size of a pumpkin," Laurie says. "All of a sudden his hand just raised up in this small wave and as soon as he did that I went, 'Oh, my gosh, that's Clyde.' I didn't even recognize him. I looked at him, and he mouthed to me, 'I love you.' Those were the very last words I ever heard from him."
FROM: Why They Beat the Odds
Published on March 01, 2007


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