Transcript for Lone Survivor of 1987 Plane Crash Breaks Silence
In a plane crash is -- uniquely horrifying experience to contemplate but imagine being on a jet that goes down and then learning that you. Are the only survivor how would you digest this information would you consider it bad not good luck divine intervention. There are such people among us it is a very small survivors club and one of the members. Is a four year old girl now all grown up and speaking out for the very first time. Here's ABC's Alex. -- there's nothing more horrifying than a plane plummeting from the sky but for members of an exclusive club of fourteen sole survivors of plane crashes the experience is a -- -- of terror at least one and -- survive -- you know -- known survivor this is -- she -- who in 1987. Just four years old became the little girl known as America's -- The whole world is rooting for -- flight 255 had just taken off from Detroit metro airport when it crashed. Killing a 154 on board to on the ground. But out of tragedy one miracle. Four year old Cecelia Sheehan. There's now been told by relatives that her mother father and six year old brother died in that crash. -- think about the accident everyday. I look at engineered. They have visuals -- My arms and my legs and have a scar on my forehead. 26 years later Cecilia is finally telling her story in a new documentary called sole survivor she doesn't remember the crash but knows exactly -- She understood it -- -- in middle school law. High school maybe -- I remember him feeling angry and survivors still. And meet George -- -- at age seventeen the only person alive after galaxy airlines flight 203 went down in Reno in 1985. -- -- are alive -- -- but I did I realize that I got out. I ran away the documentary follows slams and as he connects with a few others who know what it's like to be the lone survivor of a horrific plane crash Comair flight 5191. Co pilot John police key. His plane went down seconds after take off in Lexington Kentucky in 2006. He still struggles with survivor's guilt. I've cried harder than any man is -- crime. -- bush should be able to -- -- and my wife was there to support me to where I could just put my hand on Herschel and cried. And then there's -- the book Horry who at age fourteen survived nine hours in the Indian Ocean clinging to play racket when demand -- flight 626. Plummeted in 2009. It's just the burning here. My my face and her. Mom had a kind of my forehead. Former control. Last. Here. Announcement -- them. While there are only a handful of soul plane crash survivors amazingly 95% of people involved in plane crashes lived to tell the tale. You might not think anyone could have survived this breathtaking crash off the coast of Africa in 1996. But of the 175. People on board this Ethiopian airlines flight fifty meted out alive. And every passenger and crew members survived at this lion air crash last month in Bali. A scene reminiscent of the most remarkable survivor story in memory. When captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger crash landed in the Hudson shortly after takeoff. All 150 passengers and the five crew survived the so called miracle on the Hudson. But short of a miracle there are ways to increase your chances of escaping the unthinkable alive. To find keys to survival professor at -- has interviewed 2000 survivors of -- 105. Plane crash there is no magic seat on -- and Ankara there is no one seat that it's the safest seat on the Ankara. But statistics do suggest you should try to sit within seven rows of an emergency exit and preferably take -- aisle -- That way it's easier to get to an exit. In 2005 another miracle this one when an Air France jet crashed in Toronto caught fire broke apart. Every passenger and crew members survived. We saw flames -- this is totally -- out the window you can see we're really going people started -- king. We are went -- -- undersea explorer and like half of all airline passengers was traveling in a group. If you're traveling in a family group. You should insist that the airline does not separate -- Through the -- you should be seated together why. Well it's any natural that if your involvement sort of situation you gonna want to reunite the group before you evacuate if you do that that's going to cool us. -- While Hollywood has done its best to dramatize a plane crash like -- -- just blockbuster. -- -- is back. Nothing is more dramatic than seeing the real thing. First -- Discovery channel's curiosity. Plane crash -- the team of experts. And -- 727 jet with cameras sensors and test dummies. And then crashed it into a Mexican desert to see if there are ways to help passengers survived. When tragedy unfolds their conclusion bracing for impact can indeed be a lifesaver. The -- position is designed to reduce your chances of being knocked unconscious during a heavy impact. And you must be conscious obviously to evacuate. And for the survivors club the lifelong struggle to understand why they alone meted out. Last night in Detroit ABC news was there exclusively for an emotional screening of sole survivor. In the audience family members of those whose loved ones were killed on flight 255. For the first time hearing the one person who lived. He's driving -- ran. I just happened in the right place at the -- For all of you who lost someone on that flight. What is Cecilia mean to you. Kinda like her little girl -- always very little girl when you saw footage of the wreckage. It's just a complete miracle -- that some new equipment. Also in the theater John feed the firefighter who first spotted -- what was it like when you saw that arm and you heard reports. Well I think decree that was owned by the neck area couldn't believe that some pretty good life. A little doubt that we stuff than we could use movies and playing his game when -- founded and found her it was just. Sole survivor. A blessing and the burden says the film's director -- dickens' what do you want to get out of it. The most important thing. Where is that -- survivors and really victims to. But still -- to -- who's now married and studying art therapy they forge forward and -- me I'm just. I've never been happier. For Nightline I'm Alex Perez in Detroit.
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