Transcript from the Middlesex Times-Dispatch October3,
Article ID 892267,1988,10,3,0072
PLANE LOSES ENGINE
by Susan Stein
The plane engine is
being lifted from the badly damaged House
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,"
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
"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
"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
It appears to be a feeling shared by just about everyone.
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