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LDS missionary helps pull pilot from airplane wreckage

By | Posted - Feb. 9, 2011 at 12:21 p.m.

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REDLANDS, Calif. -- A missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being credited with saving a man's life in a plane crash in California.

Photo: Gabriel Luis Acosta, Associated Press
Photo: Gabriel Luis Acosta, Associated Press

According to the Redlands Daily Facts, fire officials say Elder Cameron Johnson, 19, of Aloha, Oregon, helped pull the pilot out of a twin-engine plane that crashed into an RV storage yard Monday morning in San Bernardino.

Elder Johnson is just three months into his service in the California San Bernardino Mission. He was fresh off lunch with fellow missionaries at a local In-N-Out Burger when they saw the plane crash. He scaled a 9-foot fence and joined two others in pulling the pilot away from the craft as it leaked fuel.

Elder Cameron Johnson 
Courtesy: Gabriel Luis Acosta
The Sun
Elder Cameron Johnson Courtesy: Gabriel Luis Acosta The Sun

San Bernardino firefighters are calling him a hero for his actions, saying the pilot would have died had the fuel-soaked plane caught fire.

"I kind of realized in the process that if I die doing this," the Mormon missionary said, "the best way to die is to help somebody."

The pilot, Lonny Wayne Rollins, 39, and Rollins' business associate, Greg Fitzgerald, 61, were critically injured in the crash. They remain in serious condition.


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