Villagers rush to aid rural Alaska crash survivors

Associated Press
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Map locates Saint Mary’s in Alaska, where a small plane crashed, killing four.; 1c x 2 inches; 46.5 mm x 50 mm;

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A passenger on a crashed airplane in rural Alaska unsuccessfully tried to revive her baby and then walked nearly a mile to lead searchers to the wreckage near the village of Saint Marys.

Village Police Officer Fred Lamont Jr. says Melanie Coffee of Mountain Village acted heroically following the crash Friday night that killed four, including her son.

The Hageland Aviation Cessna 208 with a pilot and nine passengers crashed at around 6:30 p.m.

Lamont says Saint Marys responders received word of the crash when Coffee called a village health aide seeking help in resuscitating her infant, who authorities said was 5 months old.

Lamont says Coffee considered starting a fire to attracted searchers but finally just walked to lights near the community landfill, where she met searchers.