© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Flight 3407 victims remembered on fourth anniversary

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

On a cold February night in Clarence, 50 people were remembered on the fourth anniversary of Continental Connection Flight 3407 crashing to the ground in Clarence Center. Every person on board the plane and one man on the ground were killed in a crash later attributed to pilot error. The flight was operated by Colgan Air.

Members of Elly's Angels, a service group named for crash victim Elyce Kausner, read the names of the victims near the small monument and memorial flowers on the crash site.

The house destroyed in the crash and another damaged house have been replaced by an open area with a small monument and a stone walkway from Long Street. A line of bags marked with the name of a victim held candles lining the path.

The crowd of family members and friends of the victims wasn't very large because many of them are in Washington lobbying Congress to force the Federal Aviation Administration to install tough new airline safety rules, stalled by airline industry lobbyists.

Beverly Eckert was killed in the crash. Her brother Raymond Eckert was at the remembrance.

"The difference with this type of a tragedy where you lose somebody is it's never expected to happen like this and so it makes it more difficult. People say there's closure with time. Not really," Eckert said.

The Eckert family is familiar with sudden tragedy because Beverly Eckert's husband, Sean Rooney, was killed on 9/11.

Jim Marzolf was there remembering his aunt Julie Ries and supporting the Washington lobbying.

"We support that group. We're glad that they're doing it. That's a major thing they're trying to do and I hope they can get it done," Marzlof said.

The survivor family members in Washington will hold a remembrance service at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Longworth House Office Building, along with area members of Congress.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
Related Content