CLARENCE, NY (WKBW) — 13 years ago Saturday, 50 people including one pregnant woman were killed in a plane crash that rocked everyone in Western New York to its core.
"We were in a state of shock for a long time," said Jennifer West, whose husband Ernie passed away in the wreck.
Colgan Air Flight 3407 - flying from Newark Liberty International Airport lost control on its way to Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
"Our life, in an instant, was changed forever," said West.
The captain's inappropriate response to the activation of the stick shaker, which led to an aerodynamic stall from which the airplane did not recover. Contributing to the accident were the flight crew's failure to monitor airspeed in relation to the rising position of the low-speed cue, the flight crew's failure to adhere to sterile cockpit procedures, the captain's failure to effectively manage the flight, and Colgan Air's inadequate procedures for airspeed selection and management during approaches in icing conditions.
Many family members that lost loved ones in the crash later would push for legislation change in Congress and the Senate - hoping their work could make the skies safer for the future. In December 2021, their final step of legislation was passed.
"It made our story come full circle. It was tough, don't get me wrong. It hurt to talk about them again, and again, and again, but we know we have made the world a better place. We've helped our loved ones legacy live on," said West.
February 12th marks 13 years since the fatal crash - but this year, there are no special events planned of remebrance.
"We are moving forward. Now, its all about progress. To push onward and upward, so we all can heal," said West.