One Year After Crash, Healing Continues in Hard-Hit Idaho With PM-Flight 1713
BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ For Paul Vermeulen, a 24-year-old flight attendant hurt in the crash of Boise-bound Continental Flight 1713 a year ago, part of the recovery process has been his work in helping organize Tuesday’s memorial service for victims.
″Physically I’m fine; mentally I’m a wreck,″ says Vermeulen, who suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the crash that killed 28, half of them from Idaho. ″But I’m getting my life together.″
The memorial service in Boise, exactly one year after the crash on takeoff at Denver’s Stapleton Airport, is one of two planned this month in Idaho.
Another ceremony is planned the day after Thanksgiving in Melba, a southwestern Idaho farming town of about 300 that lost three young people in the wreckage of the DC-9.
They were part of a 10-member delegation from the town returning from a Future Farmers of America convention in Kansas City, Mo. Tami Daniel, the wife of Melba FFA adviser David Daniel, and students Janine Ledgerwood and Sherry Nelson were killed.
Earlier this month, David Daniel again led a Melba delegation to the FFA national convention, again in Kansas City. Among the five members was Angie Tlucek, 18, who had spent five days in critical condition after the 1987 crash with severe burns and a collapsed lung.
The crash, Daniel acknowledged, was on the delegation’s mind ″but hopefully not too much.″
Miss Tlucek was valedictorian of her graduating class at Melba High last May.
She was elected state FFA vice president and named one of 51 ″Unsung American Heroes″ in the July 4 edition of Newsweek magazine. She now is a student at Northwest Nazarene College in nearby Nampa.
″Everyone is doing as well as they can,″ said Angie’s mother, Mary Lou Tlucek. ″It is not the kind of thing you get over in a year or two.″