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Father And Son Who Survived A Plane Crash Tell Their Story Of Survival

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Father And Son Who Survived A Plane Crash Tell Their Story Of Survival

CREATED May 23, 2014
by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mike and Ben Creed started their annual birthday flight like any other year. But Mike Creed's 58th birthday turned out to be like no other, after the father and son crashed their plane alongside a highway.

The two took off from the Hopkinsville-Christian County Airport Thursday afternoon, and everything with the 1943 Piper two-seat plane was normal before takeoff.

"We checked everything, twice. Because he showed me how to do everything, then had me do it. Everything thing was fine," Ben Creed explained.

The two taxied down the runway and when the plane reached an altitude of 80 feet, the father realized it was having engine trouble.

"I said we're having a tough time with altitude, here buddy. I said be prepared for something dicey," Mike Creed said.

The father first tried to circle back to the airport, but that option was not going to work, so he decided to take a different approach.

"My dad took the airplane through a gap in the trees and we found ourselves over the Pennyrile Parkway," Ben Creed said.

Everything was going as good as it could in that situation and they were going to land on the highway.

"I found myself actually weaving in and out of those light poles, with that airplane, trying to make it to the Pennyrile Parkway," the father explained.

Just as they were about to touch down on the highway, the plane's landing gear hit some tree branches.

"Those branches just pulled us down into the guardrail, and that's when we suddenly stopped flying," the son said.

The 20-year-old hit his face on the seat in front of him, but was not badly injured. His father was in front of him and was unconscious.

"I kind of shook him and said, dad, wake up, we got to get out of this airplane," Ben Creed said.

The son quickly shut off the leaking fuel line and worked to get his father out of the plane.

"He broke out the window with his elbow and he hefted my considerable bulk out the window of that airplane," Mike Creed said.

The son pulled his father out of the plane and witnesses helped him take him to the side of Pennyrile Parkway. Soon after, Mike Creed was taken by helicopter to trauma center at Tri-Star Skyline Medical Center in Nashville.

He suffered a major cut on his head, and a broken wrist, but is expected to make a full recovery. His son was released from the hospital not long after he arrived.

Ben Creed credited his father with avoiding an even more tragic situation.

"If anyone else had been flying that airplane, besides my dad, I'm sure one, or both of us, would've been dead," he said.

But his father said if it was not for Ben, things may have turned out differently.

"That son of mine is my hero, he saved my life," Mike Creed said.

The father has plans to repair the Piper plane that has been in his family since the 1960's. He wants to fly the Piper on its 100th birthday in 2043. Creed will be 86, but said if he can get into the plane, he will.

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