Beach mayor reflects on Oceana jet crash on Good Friday 2012

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Associated Press

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 29 at 6:21 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) -- Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms is marking the anniversary of when a Navy jet crashed into an apartment complex.

No one was killed when the F/A-18D Hornet crashed into the Mayfair Mews apartment complex on April 6, 2012. The impact destroyed 27 apartments, displaced dozens and injured seven.

A Navy investigation found that a rare dual-engine failure caused the jet to crash shortly after taking off from a nearby base.

The jet's two-man crew ejected at the last second possible to survive - 50 feet above ground.

Sessoms said in a statement Friday the fact that nobody died was the result of the community working together.  He's calling for the city to celebrate the spirit of community that turned a tragic event into what he's calling a Good Friday miracle.

Residents of Mayfair Mews feel that it was a miracle that nobody was injured in the crash.

“Exactly how I feel that it is a Good Friday miracle that no one was injured. People lost a lot of material things but they can overcome that," says Sibyl Merkle.

Paula Moran says it was divine intervention that the morning of the crash she broke her normal Friday laundry routine for no reason. "If I had been in that building doing my laundry who knows what would have happened," said Moran.

SESSOMS STATEMENT:
"As Good Friday begins this Easter weekend, I would like to take a few minutes to reflect on the events that transpired nearly a year ago on Good Friday 2012, when a U.S. Navy jet lost power and crashed into the Mayfair Mews apartments off Birdneck Road.
That no one lost his or her life that day was miraculous. But the circumstances that led to that joyous conclusion are symbolic for the strength of the city of Virginia Beach. As the crisis unfolded, first responders – fire fighters, EMS, the police – risked their lives along with military personnel and everyday citizens to get people, including the jet pilots, to safety. Lives were saved because of that dedication, because of that compassion. I’ve never felt as proud of this city as I did on that fateful day.
As we awaken to a weekend of resurrection, hope and family activities, let’s rejoice in that divine intervention and let’s celebrate the true spirit of community that turned a tragic event into the Good Friday Miracle."

AP-WF-03-29-13 1538GMT

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