MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's Aviation Unit spends hours preparing for the worst case scenario. Tuesday, they put their skills to the test.
"This is the first time that I know of that this unit has been utilized to rescue a survivor from a plane crash," said ALEA Special Agent David Williams. "We do several rescues a year but they're usually hikers or injuries from hiking accidents and stuff like that."
It took the unit about 30 minutes to arrive on the scene, helping rescue vehicles that couldn't reach the area. Sadly, 66-year-old Jeannette Currier did not survive but her husband, David, is now recovering in a hospital.
Their small Beechcraft Bonanza plane crashed in the woods outside Dadeville after taking off from Enterprise. The wreckage was spread out over a 75-yard area.
"There was no medical personnel that was available onto the scene," Williams explained. "We actually lowered two of our rescuers onto the scene to assist in packaging the victim. There was no road access to where the aircraft actually went down so it was a really obscure area."
Although one life was lost, another was saved. Without ALEA's assistance, things could have ended much differently.
"The terrain presented a tremendous challenge," said Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett. "We had Forestry in there to cut roads. I want to give kudos to the state chopper that airlifted the critically injured person out and go to the hospital in Columbus."
"It's very, very rewarding for us here to be able to know that we rescued that victim that otherwise would have been in peril or maybe even perish because of the time delay that it would take when they locate the victim to be able to get him to a waiting medical personnel," Williams said.