‘I realized I was alive’: Couple recalls plane crash they survived in Iowa

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CORYDON, Iowa — An Missouri couple that survived a plane crash is recalling the moments right before and after, when they realized they were still alive.

It was shortly after Craig Comstock and his wife took off from the Corydon Airport, in south-central Iowa, that Craig realized something was wrong, according to a report by WHO-TV.

“As we took off, I got about 200 feet off the ground and I realized that there was a problem,” Craig said to WHO.

The 15-year pilot quickly thought through all the National Traffic Safety Board reports and aviation magazines he had read, and decided that the safest place to crash was in a grove of trees, WHO reported.

“About 30, 40 seconds out, after I made that decision I said a prayer,” Craig said, according to the report. “I said, ‘Dear Lord, please let Mary, my wife, walk away from this,’ and then I turned to Mary before impact and I said, ‘I’m sorry, sweetie,’ and then we hit the trees.”

Mary said she imagined the worst.

Craig Comstock

“Craig tells me, says, ‘I’m really sorry, sweetie, here comes the trees,’ and I personally thought, ‘this is it,'” she said.

That’s when they crashed, into a bed of trees.

“Go through the trees, flap, flap, flap, and then we stop and I realized I was alive,” said Mary, according to WHO. “I had blood on my leg and my arm was messed up.”

Injured, but alive, the couple’s next challenge was getting out of the fuel-leaking plane.

Craig told WHO that his wife was able to get to the ground, with fuel still flowing, and they were worried about a post-crash fire.

Ultimately, first responders were able to pull Craig and Mary from harms way.  The couple said they think they survived the crash for a reason.

“I told the surgeons here at the hospital that fixed me back up, I said, ‘you guys are wonderful at putting back together things that you can see, but I’m here to tell you the Creator of the universe works behind the scenes putting together things that you can’t see,'” Craig said.