Transcript from the Middlesex Times-Dispatch October3, 1988
Article ID 892267,1988,10,3,0072

by Susan Stein


The plane engine is being lifted from the badly damaged House
Photo: Bob Steinsberger

Doris Johnston heard the crash from across the street. The alarm on her new Volvo station wagon went off immediately. Carson, the German shepherd that belongs to her son David, immediately began to bark and wouldn't stop for another hour.
"I thought a tree had fallen onto the neighbor's house," she says.
It was just after midnight and Ralph Essex and his wife Ellen were entering into the final hand of their monthly bridge club. Sixteen friends who had never left a bridge game unfinished found themsleves scrambling into the front yard to see what had happened.
"It sounded like a bomb," said Carolyn Watts, last week's reigning bridge champion. "I honestly thought some kid had finally set off a bomb."
By 12:30 AM a crowd of several dozen had assembled in the street in front of the large white house at 2710 Powderham Drive in the exclusive Country Club section of Sarasota Heights.
The home owned by Edward and Rose Darko was soon surrounded by fire engines and police cars. Screaming could be heard from inside.

"I could hear Eddie and Rose screaming their son's name, over and over. It was just awful," said JoAnne Smith, a close friend of the Darkos. "I got a call and we rushed over to the house and the police wouldn't let us inside. We knew something terribly shocking had happened. No one could have predicted something as bizarre as this."
The thing that no one could have predicted was the right engine from a commercial 747 commercial airliner, which crashed mysteriously into the bedroom of sixteen-year old Donald Darko, a local honor student at Middlesex Ridge School.
Over the next six agonizing hours, the family waited as Federal Aviation Administration authorities brought in their crash unit, who quickly found themselves searching the surrounding area for a downed plane.

As sunrise approached, workers finally hoisted the 2000 pound jet engine from the house.
Donald Darko was found crushed to death in the rubble.
Crash Investigators were alarmed that the house had sustained so little damage, given massive impact damage sustained by housing structures in similar crash scenarios, casting speculation as to how low the plane was flying.
Workers assembled by the FAA Accident Investigation Projects Review Team (AIPRT) evacuated the house and began to sift through the wreckage, hoping to find clues to this mysterious event, which appears to have left little evidence.
Air Traffic Control at Dulles International Airport and Richmond International Airport have received no distress signals, nor have there been any reports of a crash over a 10,000 mile search radius. Search and rescue units have thus far reported no evidence of the whereabouts of any missing plane.
Calls to the office of AIPRT Lead Investigator Bob Garland were not returned, as the investigation continues in an unnamed warehouse in Northern Alexandria.
As the engine was taken away on a flatbed truck and the body of a young man loaded into an ambulance, neighbors watched with a sense of sadness and bewilderment, unsure of what had truly transpired.
It appears to be a feeling shared by just about everyone.

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