LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — The only person to survive a December plane crash in south Louisiana that killed the other five people on board has gone home after nearly two months months in the hospital.
News outlets reported that Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center said in a news release that Wade Berzas was discharged Monday after 52 days at the center's burn unit.
The hospital released photos of Berzas talking, hugging and praying with hospital staff and others as he prepared to leave Monday. One arm was in a sling while the other was wrapped in white bandages.
In a statement, Berzas and his wife, Mackenzie, thanked people for their thoughts and prayers.
“Your prayers were deeply felt, and we believe contributed to the success of Wade’s recovery. Thank you for allowing us the privacy we need to focus on the road ahead. We are truly overwhelmed by your love for our family," they said.
Berzas and the other five people aboard the eight-passenger aircraft were bound for Atlanta to watch the college football game between Louisiana State University and Oklahoma when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Lafayette in December.
Ian E. Biggs, 51, the plane's pilot was killed along with passengers Robert Vaughn Crisp II, 59; Carley McCord, 30; Michael Walker Vincent, 15; and his mother, Gretchen Vincent, 51. Berzas was taken to the hospital with burns on 75% of his body. A woman on the ground was also severely injured.
McCord was a well-known sports reporter and the daughter-in-law of LSU's offensive coordinator. The other people on the plane all had connections with a Lafayette-based technology firm called Global Data Systems.
Federal investigators are looking into the crash but have not announced a cause.