Onlooker becomes hero in crucial minutes after Austin plane crash

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by WFAA.com Staff

kvue.com

Posted on February 19, 2010 at 8:07 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 19 at 8:27 AM

AUSTIN — An employee of an Austin glass company said he saw a small plane making unusual maneuvers just seconds before it crashed into an office building Thursday morning.

Robin DeHaven, who works for Binswanger Glass, said the plane was making "weird turns left and right; then it made a sharp left turn and then I could see the belly of the plane as it dove."

"I watched the plane dive, and I saw the black smoke afterward."

DeHaven said at first he thought it was a model aircraft. "After I realized it was a full-size plane, I thought it was going to crash," he said.

He said he arrived at the scene of the crash within 20 seconds of impact. "The building was filled with smoke, and people said there were people on the second floor."

DeHaven said he got an extension ladder from his truck and helped five people get out of the burning building before rescue personnel arrived. "They were panicked, saying, 'Help us!'"

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