'Miracle On The Hudson' Survivors Visit Plane In Surry County

5:46 AM, Jun 10, 2011   |    comments
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Surry County, NC -- People in Surry County saw a miracle Thursday. They pulled off the side of Interstate 77 and pulled out their cameras to capture the moment of seeing the "Miracle On The Hudson" plane.

The plane is parked at a weigh station in Surry County overnight as it makes its way to its final destination - an aviation museum in Charlotte.

"It's amazing. Gives me cold chills," said Charity Pierce of Dobson.

"I think it's awesome. It's a piece of history," said Georgiana Wilmoth of Jonesville.

Among the group that gathered to take in the view were two women who have an extremely different view of the plane than everyone else there.

Beth McHugh and Denise Lockie were on the plane when it landed in the Hudson River. They both live in the Charlotte area and came to see it in person Thursday, not knowing each other would be there.

It was an emotional reunion with hugs, tears, and smiles.

"Seeing the plane, I think it's overwhelming. Full circle. You think about all the emotions. You think about how fortunate you are," said Lockie.

McHugh said, "This airplane crashing in the river and staying afloat for 23 or 24 minutes, long enough for us all to get off, is an amazing miracle."

McHugh pointed out where she was seated in the back of the plane and how she made her way to the front to jump out onto a life boat.

"I hesitated a little and the flight attendant said, 'Just jump. You'll be okay, honey, just jump,' So I did," she said.

"Many people on the plane said they didn't think that we were going to die, but I wasn't one of those. I was sure we were going to die that day," said McHugh, who can now share her amazing story of survival, along with Lockie.

Lockie said, "A miracle to me is that we were 3,200 feet in the air and we survived what could have been a horrific event in the largest city in the United States."

The two women took pictures and shared their stories with people who visited the plane.

"Most of us feel blessed every single day that we get one more day and one more day," said McHugh.

After almost a week on the road for a nearly 800 mile journey from Newark, New Jersey, the plane is expected to arrive at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte Friday afternoon.

WFMY News 2

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