Plane crash damages Roy house, not family's spirit

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ROY -- As Pat Newman assesses the damage to her home — in the wake of the plane crash that has left it uninhabitable — she is filled with appreciation and gratitude. Appreciative of all of the support her family has received from friends, neighbors and others, and very grateful just to be alive.

On Sunday evening, Newman, her husband, Ned, and their granddaughter Rachel were about to eat supper when they heard a loud explosion. She ran out to see what had happened and saw a huge fireball outside the door where a small plane had crashed in her yard.

The family was able to escape unharmed and were helped by neighbors who called 911.

Pilot Clayton Roop, 46, remains hospitalized in the University of Utah Burn Trauma Unit, with second- and third-degree burns covering 15 percent of his body.

Roop's plane was en route to Ogden from Lake Powell Sunday evening when it began to struggle in heavy fog and clipped a power line near 2000 West and 4300 South in Roy. Two homes, including Newman's, suffered damage from the crash and subsequent fires.

Neither house can be occupied, but both homes appear to be repairable, fire officials said. Damage was estimated at $250,000 for the Newman property and $150,000 for the neighboring house.

The Newmans had the home built years ago and raised their children in it.

Despite all the turmoil the incident has caused, Pat Newman said they were coping quite well.

"There have been so many blessings," she said.

"(Most household) things don't mean a lot," she said. "But (being able to save a few cherished items) is comforting and reassuring."

Newman pointed out an old chair on her back deck that had belonged her father — luckily it was saved. Outside on the porch she had what was left of a painting that was badly damaged in the fire — it had hung over their bed.

"It's a blessing when you find something like that," she said. "It's nice … that there is something that meant something to you that you didn't lose."

Her husband and son Kimball took on the task of looking for a temporary residence where they will live as they wait to have their house repaired. Until then, they will work to find some sense of normalcy.

One of Newman's biggest concerns was the welfare of Roop, the pilot who nearly lost his life in the crash. She was astounded — and delighted — to learn that he had lived through such a terrible ordeal.

"When I saw that ball of fire, I thought there was no way anyone could come out of that alive," Newman said. "Later when they told me … he was alive, I was just overcome."

She said she was grateful, "because it would be such a tragedy, a loss of life like that."

Newman said that, for the most part, she has no ill will regarding the crash and the impact it has had on her family. But she hopes steps will be taken to prevent more incidents like this one — the fourth crash in a 7-year period in their residential area.

"There really needs to be something done," she said. "One accident is one too many and four accidents seems to say, 'Hello, let's get busy and do something about this.' "



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