Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

May 16, 2013

Sole survivor of plane crash breaks silence

DETROIT (AP) — Cecelia Crocker’s body provides her with a constant reminder of the most traumatic event of her life — one that she doesn’t otherwise remember.

At only 4 years old, Crocker was the lone survivor of a 1987 plane crash that killed 154 people aboard and two on the ground near Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

In the new documentary, “Sole Survivor,” Crocker breaks her silence, discussing how the crash of the Phoenix-bound jetliner has affected her.

“I think about the accident every day. It’s kind of hard not to think about it when I look in the mirror,” she said. “I have visual scars. My arms and my legs. And I have a scar on my forehead.”

Crocker, 30, also sports an airplane tattoo on her left wrist.

“I got this tattoo as a reminder of where I’ve come from. I see it as — so many scars were put on my body against my will — and I decided to put this on my body for myself,” she says in the film.

“Sole Survivor” is expected to have its theatrical premiere and widespread release later this year. Advance preview screenings are set for Wednesday and Thursday in Royal Oak, Mich., and May 30 in Minneapolis.

The filmmakers permitted The Associated Press to view the film ahead of the screenings.

The movie focuses on Crocker — known as Cecelia Cichan at the time of the crash — as well as three other “sole survivors” of plane crashes: George Lamson Jr., a then 17-year-old from Plymouth, Minn., who was aboard a Galaxy Airlines flight that crashed in Reno, Nev., in 1985; Bahia Bakari, a 12-year-old girl who lived through a Yemenia Airways flight that crashed near the Comoros Islands in 2009; and Jim Polehinke, the co-pilot of a 2006 Comair flight that crashed in Lexington, Ky.

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