A tragic loss occurred years after the crash | Religion


Not all stories have happy endings – at least not on this earth.

Jerry Schemmel knows this all too well.

Schemmel will share her story at the Fremont Area Leadership Prayer Breakfast on April 15 at Midland University.

In 1989, Schemmel was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 232, which crashed in Sioux City, Iowa.

Of the 296 passengers and crew on board, 112 died in the crash, while 184 people survived.

Among the survivors was Sabrina Michaelson, a baby who was thrown into the back of the plane and became trapped in an overhead storage bin.

Schemmel saved the 11-month-old baby.

After the accident, Pilot Captain Al Haynes would be highly regarded for his handling of the accident. He became a public speaker on aviation safety before his death in 2019.

Schemmel said the baby he saved had grown up, but was a 19-year-old college student in Arizona when she died of a drug overdose in 2008.

He describes his death as incredibly sad and tragic.

“We weren’t very close, but we communicated a lot over the years after the accident,” Schemmel said. “For me, it was almost like another plane crash in my life.”

How does he find comfort in all of this?

“You’re just trying to move on as best you can with a hole in your heart,” he said.

He finds solace in the hope of seeing her again one day.

Schemmel, who gave his life to Christ about 10 months after the plane crash, is a broadcaster, author, cyclist and motivational speaker.


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