2 Goshen women among Hudson plane crash survivors

Posted: Updated:

Two Goshen residents were among the 150 passengers aboard US Airways Flight 1549 that crashed into the Hudson River Thursday.

"We all have guardian angels, and ours were working overtime, so I'm so grateful to be here," says Diane Higgins, who was flying to Charlotte, N.C. with her 85-year-old mother to visit relatives.

Moments after takeoff, Higgins recalls hearing a loud bang, followed by silence. Passengers started yelling for information, and then the pilot's voice came on, telling them to prepare for emergency landing.

"I was preparing myself to die, and I was thinking we're going to die on impact," Higgins recalls.

However, the veteran pilot Capt. Chesley Sullenberger glided the plane to a safe landing on the river. All 150 passengers and five crew members survived.

"Then the panic started," Higgins says. "It was like an organized panic. I think everybody knew you had to get out."

While his wife and mother-in-law were scrambling out of the sinking plane through an emergency exit, Higgins? husband was checking his e-mail at their Goshen home, unaware of the crash.

"I'm just so grateful," says John Higgins. "I hit the lotto yesterday, everybody was alright."

For extended coverage of the plane crash and press conferences, go to Channel 612 on your iO Digital Cable Box.

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