Reno Air Crash Investigation Begins
The National Transportation Safety Board has joined the investigation into Friday’s Reno Air Show Crash that has killed three people and injured at least 50 others, officials said.
Veteran pilot Jimmy Leeward, 74, was the man flying the plane that plunged nose-first into a tarmac Friday afternoon. He was one of three people killed in the accident. This weekend, however, spectators and officials believe the crash could have been much worse and even referred to Leeward as a hero.
Eyewitness Johnny Norman told the New York Daily News, Leeward “saved hundreds if not thousands of lives because he was able to veer that plane back toward the tarmac.”
Another eyewitness, Ben Cissell, told CNN, "I think that pilot in the last seconds pulled up because he saw the bleachers and saved about 200 or 300 others.” He went on to say, “"I don't mean this as a disrespect to others injured, but that pilot is a hero.”
Minutes after the crash, more than 700 emergency personnel showed up to help the injured, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell said. On Saturday morning, many of the injured were in critical condition and awaiting surgery.
In 2007, another mid-air collision occurred during the annual National Championship Air Races in Reno that claimed the life of one pilot.
Reach writer Mike Vulpo here
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