|Eyewitness Report: Southwest Airlines 1455
By: Parker Moon
I was a passenger on Southwest Airlines Flight 1445 on March 5, 2000. I was seated in the front section of the plane, and the flight was fine and there was not much turbulence at all. I was afraid to fly by myself, but my Dad put
me on the plane anyway and a Flight Attendant was keeping an eye on me. She
was a nice lady and she took good care of me through the whole flight. When
we prepared to land I did every thing i was told. I put my seat in an upright
position and fastened my seatbelt.
I then looked out my window seat as we broke through the clouds. I could
see the lights and I knew we were getting close to the ground. When we came
to the runway, however, I got a bad feeling. I then realized that we were going too
fast! I turned and looked back down the aisle and no one seemed to be acting
different so I sat back down straight and said to myself that it was going to be
fine. Thats when I saw it; the runway lights were gone and the concrete runway
was comming to an end!! Thats when the first people began to notice. The
first thing I heard was "look, the runway's ending!" and the people that were
awake leaned towards the nearest window to see.
That's when I felt a tremendous shudder!! I turned and looked
out the window and up ahead, I saw it. It was a road; a road with lights! But
these weren't street lights, they were cars! Lots of cars and they must have
seen us comming because some of them stopped. We crossed the road, and I
braced myself because I just knew we were going to run over or be hit by a
car! But then we went off the road and I knew we didn't hit anything. I was
relieved, but not for long.
Next thing I knew, we hit a ditch and I hit my
head on the seat in front of me. We then scraped nose down onto a parking lot
or some other paved surface. Thats when the Flight Attendant came to me and said "we have
to get off!!" I didnt hesitate and unbuckled my seatbelt. Then I looked out
and there was a gas station sign outside my window. That's when the thought
crossed my mind that the plane could be sitting on gas tanks and it might
I guess everyone realized it the same time, because everyone
started rushing to the exits. Someone opened the exit three or four rows in front of
me and an inflated slide deployed. Then the flight crew started to help get
people down out of the plane. I was one of the last people out and when I did
get out I felt scared and dazed at the same time because i had trouble
putting what had just happened together.
I also wanted to get away from the plane, still fearing it would explode!
I then saw that the gasoline tanks were unharmed and the Flight Attendant who had taken care of me was coming up to me. She had my cell phone, so I called my
Grandparents, who were at the airport waiting for word of me. They knew no one
was known to be dead, but they were glad to know that I was okay.
Afterward, I was
taken home and I was asked questions by all of my family. And later that
week I took a plane home with my grandparents and I didnt have any fear of
another plane crash. Every time I hear of a plane crash, I have a flashback and
I feel a respect for all the people on the plane.
[Editor's Note: For more information on the events surrounding the crash-landing of Southwest Airlines flight 1455, please view the accident record in the AirDisaster.Com Accident Database.]