Teen crash survivor heads home
An Anchorage hospital has released one of the four people who survived a plane crash that killed former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and four others.
A Providence Alaska Medical Center spokeswoman says 13-year-old William "Willy" Phillips Jr. has been released. He is the son of lobbyist William "Bill" Phillips Sr., who died in the Aug. 9 crash north of Dillingham. The family lives in Germantown, and Willy is an eighth-grader at Mater Dei School in Bethesda.
Janet Phillips, the wife of William Phillips Sr. and Willy's mother, expressed thanks to rescuers and the hospital staff in a statement:
As our family prepares to return home to Maryland, we wish to thank the many kind people of Alaska who comforted us during this painful time.
First, we express our gratitude to the first responders to the crash, the Alaska Air National Guard, the Alaska State Troopers, and all of those who were involved in the search and rescue activities for their professionalism, their heroism and their kindness.
Thank you to everyone at the Children's Hospital at Providence, including the wonderful team of doctors, nurses and staff, who have been extremely kind to Willy and our family members this past week.
We especially want to thank Bill's longtime colleagues Ron Duncan and Greg Chapados, as well as the entire GCI family for their support, ongoing assistance and concern.
I want to extend a special thank you to Catherine Stevens and the Stevens' family for their friendship, their kindness and their fond remembrances of Bill. For over three decades Bill and Senator Stevens collaborated with and supported each other through important challenges; they were truly close and good friends.
We are forever grateful to Dr. Dani Bowman and the other first responders for their heroic efforts the night they spent on the mountain with Willy. Thank you for bringing Willy back.
And finally, we extend our deepest sympathies and concerns to all of the other families who have lost loved ones and we offer our prayers for those who are still recovering. You are and will remain in our thoughts and prayers.
Bill and our boys shared many Alaska memories. They loved Alaska and as we leave we know Alaska will remain imprinted on our hearts.
A memorial service is scheduled for Bill Phillips on Friday.
Spokeswoman Kirsten Schultz says lobbyist Jim Morhard, of Alexandria, remains hospitalized in fair condition.
She says the family of the other two survivors -- former NASA head Sean O'Keefe and his son, Kevin O'Keefe, both of Ashburn -- has asked that their condition not be released.
O'Keefe was listed in serious condition Saturday and his son was in fair condition.
Those who died in the crash include Stevens and Phillips Sr.; Stevens; pilot Theron "Terry" Smith, 62; Dana Tindall, 48, an executive with the company that owned the plane; and her daughter, Corey Tindall, 16
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
-- Staff and wire reports
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