'Heroic' woman treks through Alaska fog to guide rescuers to plane crash

Updated: 

A woman has been hailed a hero after leaving her fatally injured baby at a plane crash site to trek through Alaskan fog in order to find rescuers and lead them back to the aircraft.

Melanie Coffee, 25, had made a frantic call looking for help resuscitating her five-month-old son, Wyatt Coffee.

But she could not revive her son, and when rescuers were unable to find the crash site due to fog, she walked nearly a mile towards the lights in the village of Saint Marys to meet rescuers, finding them at the town's landfill site.

The Hageland Aviation Cessna 208 turboprop was going from Bethel on a scheduled flight to Mountain Village and then on to Saint Marys.

But the plane crashed in terrible weather conditions, killing the pilot and three passengers, leaving four of the other six passengers injured.

Saint Marys Village Police Officer Fred Lamont Jr told the Epoch Times: "I believe she's the real hero in this."

Clifford Dalton, a paramedic for LifeMed Alaska, told CNN: "The fact that she could make it out to an identifiable landmark really helped to expedite the aid that the rest of the patients were able to receive.

"What's really remarkable about it is that she was tending to her infant child that was gravely injured at the time."

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was too early to tell yet exactly what had caused the crash.

Saint Marys village, like many in Alaska, is not on the state road system, so residents rely on aircrafts for transport to regional hubs and trips to Anchorage or other cities.

15 flights from hell

15 flights from hell


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