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Crash Survivor Recalls Fire as Plane Hit

September 25, 2004|From Associated Press

KALISPELL, Mont. — The single-engine plane that crashed into a Montana mountain and killed three people was in flames before it came to rest, one of the two survivors has told authorities.

"Even before they stopped, there was fire in the aircraft," Flathead County Sheriff Jim Dupont said Jodee Hogg told him. "She recalls tremendous pressure, heat and then a flash.

"Jodee was sitting right by the door," he said. "She had the handle and she got the door open and virtually fell out when she undid her seat belt.

"She turns around, reaches for Matt [Ramige] and his foot was caught. She was pulling on him and got him out," Dupont recounted. "The fire was roaring at this point."

Hogg and the more seriously injured Ramige were the only two to survive. They walked off the mountain together over the next two days.

Ramige, 29, had a broken spine and severe burns. The Jackson, Wyo., man is being treated at a hospital in Seattle. Hogg, 23, from Billings, was recovering from burns and bruises Friday at Kalispell Regional Hospital.

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