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The Latest: Plane crash survivor says ‘days were dark’

September 5, 2018

Plane crash survivor Eric Raptosh, right, works with physical therapist Justin Hsu at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center's Sobrato Rehabilitation Center in San Jose, Calif, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. The California man, who in July survived a small plane crash with a broken neck and extensive brain and spinal cord damage, has made a "miraculous" recovery and is ready to be discharged from the hospital, doctors said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Janie Har)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a Northern California man who survived a small plane crash (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

A Northern California man who survived a small plane crash that killed his husband and the pilot was upbeat on Wednesday as he talked about his painful but life-affirming recovery.

Eric Raptosh said “days were dark” but he figured he had no choice but to keep going. Raptosh sat in a wheelchair surrounded by friends, family and medical staff at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Sobrato Rehabilitation Center in San Jose.

Raptosh joked about the “cheerful people” dragging him through hell, and the joy of biting into a strawberry.

He is scheduled to return to Truckee, California on Thursday after five weeks of intensive therapy. It is unlikely he will ever walk again.

Raptosh was flying with his husband, Peter Jackson, and pilot Kenneth Whitall-Scherfee when the single-engine plane crashed near Lake Tahoe on July 17. Jackson and Whitall-Scherfee died.

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11:00 a.m.

Doctors say a Northern California man who in July survived a small plane crash with a broken neck and extensive brain and spinal cord damage has made a “miraculous” recovery and is ready to leave the hospital.

Eric Raptosh, of Truckee, was flying with his husband, Peter Jackson, and their pilot, Kenneth Whitall-Scherfee, when the single-engine plane crashed near Lake Tahoe, killing Jackson and Whitall-Scherfee.

Officials said the Navion-B aircraft’s pilot reported engine problems and was trying to return to the Truckee-Tahoe Airport when the crash occurred shortly after takeoff.

Raptosh was admitted to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose with a broken neck, broken ribs, a broken leg, and extensive brain, and spinal cord damage.

Doctors say he will leave the hospital Thursday after an intensive and “miraculous” recovery.

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