Plane crash survivors return to church: ‘God saved my life’

Angela (L) and Christopher White (R) chat with local news about surviving a plane crash while traveling to the Poconos on November 14, 2021. |

A father and daughter who survived a plane crash last year returned to their church for the first time since the crash, giving their testimony to the congregation and meeting the first responders who rescued them.

Pennsylvania pilot Christopher White, 58, and his 13-year-old daughter, Angela, were involved in a plane crash last November during a snowstorm while on a recreational flight around the Poconos.

The Cessna 150 crash in Luzerne County resulted in serious injuries for both, including a broken spine for the daughter and broken bones for the father.

The White family testified before the Christian Life Assembly congregation near Stroudsburg on Sunday, with Christopher White saying it was a miracle from the Lord that they survived.

“Most pilots get into it, and they get confused, they get upset, and that’s fatal. … I flew in the snowstorm, and I was like ‘wow, I’m blinded by the snow ‘, and my instant reaction was not panic, but I turned off the landing lights because they were illuminating the snow,” he recounted.

“I focused on the attitude indicator, which is what we’re training for, and saw the plane was level. And honestly, I don’t know what happened. I would have probably could have escaped, but I don’t know what else happened. Next thing I remember is [being] crashed in this plane, died silent and cold.

Christopher White recalled passing out a few times after the plane crashed. Then, he woke up with a flashing light on his face from the rescue team. He said he passed out again as he was dragged to an ambulance.

He suffered several broken bones, a concussion and other injuries.

“God saved my life,” said Christopher White. “The way the plane crashed, the way the branches of the trees grabbed the plane, the wings folded back due to the energy and absorbed the speed of the plane.”

“If you ever see a head-on collision with a car, that front part is smashed. The nose of the plane was not smashed. If that had happened, we would have a funeral and we would be watching from above. … But it’s gratifying.

Suffering from Down syndrome, Angela White is known to be a teenager who loves the outdoors and enjoys water skiing and cycling. She suffered a right-sided skull fracture, second-degree burns from severe frostbite and shattered vertebrae. Her injuries led her to develop scoliosis. His chances of walking again are unlikely.

The plane crashed in the middle of state playgrounds in Bear Creek Township among woods, swamps, hills, rocks and boulders in freezing weather.

Unsure if anyone would save them, the whites endured temperatures of around 20 degrees Fahrenheit for hours, according to local news outlet WBRE..

Search teams eventually found the two after tracking their iPads, according to Sharon White, the survivors’ mother and wife.

After being rescued, the two received medical attention. Angela White was treated for her burns at a hospital and medical professionals surgically removed her shattered vertebrae and replaced them with a cage.

“As soon as we thought something was wrong, the word went out and the prayer went out,” Sharon White said.

On the night of the accident, the mother, who was a teacher for 25 years, said that before she even knew the two had crashed, she was unexpectedly struggling to concentrate on preparing for her lessons . She began to worship God in response.

“[One Christian song] said, ‘I talk about Jesus about my family, about the darkness, about any enemy,'” Sharon White said. “And I sing and I worship, and the plane crashes, and I had no idea.”

At around 9 p.m. that evening, when father and daughter had still not returned home, Sharon White recalled texting her husband, but he did not respond.

The mother assumed that her husband’s cell phone was dead and she continued to wait for an answer which never came. She said at 9:30 p.m. she remembered thinking something was wrong. At that time, she called the police.

“Jesus hears and he is actively involved when you call on his name… There is power in the name of Jesus – not just for particular situations,” said Sharon White.

The rescue team that rescued Angela and Christopher White attended the church service. They joined the family on stage to share their thoughts on the ordeal.

“This is a huge event for us. … My whole team didn’t give up. They kept looking. They wouldn’t give up until we found them,” said chef James Serafin of the Bear Creek Volunteer Hose Company, which helped coordinate search and rescue.

“I’m very proud of it. And we can see them proudly sitting here today.

Floyd Young, a firefighter and paramedic affiliated with Bear Creek Fire Rescue, said he was thrilled to see the Whites again.

“I know now why they were living with people like you praying for them,” Young told the church crowd.

sergeant. John G. Richards, a Pennsylvania State Trooper who assisted in the rescue, said, “I couldn’t find them. God found them.

“These two are the face of this accident. They deserve the credit. They kept themselves alive that night,” Richards told the church.

Richards said where the plane crashed he did not believe he and the rescue team would find the two survivors until the following day.

Richards recalled telling members of the fire department to “get your crews and go home.” However, members of the fire department refused to stop the search.

Craig Johnson, the church’s chief pastor, expressed his gratitude to the rescue team.

“You are the outstretched hands and feet of God. You go places no one else can go and you are with people at some of the lowest points and most tragic points, and I just want you to know that we will shower you with prayers and we will we are very grateful guys,” he said.

Johnson announced that on March 19, he and his team will work to tear out the back of the Whites’ home to expand it by adding 12 feet by 48 feet, to create a more handicap-accessible home.

“I pray for two things about this: that we bless the White family, that they feel every time they walk into their home, they know they have a church family and they have a community. who likes [them]. And we know that God is going to continue to do great things in and through this story,” Johnson said.

A GoFundMe account set up to help pay for Angela White’s medical bills has raised over $27,000.

Jerry B. Hatch