Lives lost in Flight 5191 crash in Lexington remembered on 10 year anniversary
A federal investigation later revealed that the plane taxied onto a runway that was too short for the plane to take off from.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Ten years ago a crash of flames and chaos killed 49 people on board a flight taking off from Lexington.
Although a decade has passed, the grief can still be felt.
On August 27, 2006, 50 people were aboard the 6 a.m. Comair 5191 flight from Lexington, Kentucky to Atlanta, Georgia.
“The flight was a cross-section of the best and brightest, not just of Lexington, not just of Kentucky, but of the entire world. It's for that reason that the loss of 5191 is so tremendous,” said Matthew Snoddy, who lost his father in the crash.
The plane crashed during take off, killing all but one. James Polehinki, the first officer of the flight crew was the lone survivor.
“To Mr. Polehinki and his family -- my thoughts are with you today also,” Snoddy said.
White doves were released into the sky today to honor all the lives lost. They flew past the five year memorial statue -- each silver metal bird representing a person no longer here.
“But we can feel the love of family and the kindness of strangers all around us,” said Lead NTSB Investigator of 5191 Deborah Hersman.
As the anniversary comes around like it does every year, those impacted say a decade later it feels a little different.
“Where we can have this kind of ceremony and it's not all about grief, it's about community and just being able to come together with one another,” Snoddy said..
“Just feel a lot of love here today and it's wonderful to see people from all over the world come just to remember life and love and be together as a community,” said Steven Gilbert, who lost his uncle in the crash.
While the hearts of those affected, may never be fully healed, they find comfort in coming together.
“Lexington, Kentucky, thank you for taking such good care of us. As we leave here today there are four numbers which will always bind our hearts, our minds, and our souls together ... 5191,” said Sue Byrd, who lost her son in the crash.
A federal investigation later revealed that the plane taxied onto a runway that was too short for the plane to take off. The NTSB says Flight 5191 helped change aviation policy to improve flight safety.
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