Survivor’s video shows harrowing Idaho plane crash

Aug 10, 2012, 1:52 AM

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – The survivors of a plane crash in central Idaho can prove just how close they came to death, with a seven-minute video documenting their harrowing experience, including the bloody aftermath.

One passenger, Nathan Williams, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he and his friends are “just four guys who are lucky to be alive.”

Williams was filming June 30 when the small plane took off from a dirt runway headed toward the mountain resort town of McCall. His video shows the plane flying for several minutes before losing altitude and slamming into the trees below, with the pilot suffering serious injuries.

The video has drawn national attention after being posted online this week.

“It wasn’t anything we were trying to film,” said Williams, 38, of Boise. “It was a beautiful day and we were just really having fun recording what we were doing.”

Williams suffered a concussion in the plane crash and said the pilot, Les Gropp, 70, had a broken jaw, broken ribs and a fractured cheekbone. The two other passengers, Alec Arhets and Gropp’s son, Tol, escaped with cuts and bruises, Williams said.

“We all went back to work on Monday,” said Williams, a dentist. “Les was really the only one who had some lasting damage, but even he’s going to be fine.”

The Valley County Sheriff’s Department said at the time that the crash occurred late in the afternoon in the Bear Valley area and two people were transported to a hospital.

As of late Thursday, the video of the plane crash had more than 336,000 views and been played more than 1.2 million times on the website LiveLeak, where it was shared a day ago. The video also spread on YouTube and in one instance, was removed from a user’s page because it violated the company’s policy “on shocking and disgusting content.”

The group flew into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness so they could go hiking, Williams said. After the hike, they were headed to McCall for dinner and while taking off, Williams is shown smiling as he pans his camera to the back of the plane to his fellow passengers.

After about 2 minutes and 40 seconds of footage, the video shows the plane start to lower and then crash. The camera is then blocked by the wreckage and shows a mostly black screen as one of the men is heard moaning and another asks: “Everybody OK?”

Several minutes later, one of the men is shown retrieving the camera, which films the pilot lying on the ground with his head resting on a log and his face and arm covered in blood. His eye appears blackened and the wreckage of the red plane is in the background.

At that point, the group had already attended to Gropp and were waiting for help, said Williams, who is shown leaning down to talk to the pilot.

“Where are you hurt?” Williams asks. “The right side of your face? OK.”

The men suspect the plane had a difficult time gaining altitude because of warming temperatures and that after the Stinson 108-3 took off, it hit an air pocket that made it rapidly loose altitude, pushing it down into the trees. Williams posted the video to show friends and family what happened and he was surprised to see the video elicit so much response.

But he also understands why people are intrigued.

“You see how fast something happens, something that’s life-threatening,” he said. “That’s kind of people’s worst fears and it kind of came true for us, in a way.”

___

Online:
http://bit.ly/N3Vcq0

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, at the C...
Associated Press

Manchin ends pipeline push, easing path for spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has abandoned, for now, his push to speed up the permitting process for energy projects, easing the Senate’s path toward passing a stopgap spending bill that would keep the federal government running when the fiscal year ends at midnight Friday. A procedural vote Tuesday advancing the funding bill […]
21 hours ago
President Joe Biden waits for members of the press to leave after speaking at a meeting of the Whit...
Associated Press

Libertarian group sues to block student debt cancellation

A libertarian group in California filed a legal challenge to President Joe Biden’s plan for student debt cancellation on Tuesday, calling it an illegal overreach that would increase state tax burdens for some Americans who get their debt forgiven. The lawsuit, believed to be the first targeting Biden’s plan, was filed by the Pacific Legal […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

UN official warns of conflict, more poverty in Afghanistan

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A senior U.N. official warned Tuesday of a possible internal conflict and worsening poverty in Afghanistan if the Taliban don’t respond quickly to the needs of all elements of society, saying their crackdown on the rights of girls and women signals indifference to over 50% of Afghanistan’s population and a willingness […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Hawaii fines US Navy for unauthorized sewage release

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health said Tuesday it has fined the U.S. Navy $8.8 million for repeatedly discharging untreated or partially treated sewage into state waters from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The department said in a news release that it recorded 766 counts of the Navy discharging pollutants in excess of limits […]
21 hours ago
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris hosts a roundtable discussion with Japanese business executives f...
Associated Press

VP Harris seeks computer chip partners in Japan meetings

TOKYO (AP) — Armed with a new law that boosts U.S. support for computer chip manufacturing, Vice President Kamala Harris said the administration was looking for new investments and partnerships as she sat down with Japanese technology executives on Wednesday. The morning meeting on her last full day in Tokyo reflects the administration’s focus on […]
21 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...
Sponsored Content by Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Survivor’s video shows harrowing Idaho plane crash