E. Haven plane crash victims remembered, 1 year later

Wreckage of the plane that crashed in East Haven, Aug. 9, 2013.

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One year later, this is the sound of hope and healing, as the community of East Haven remembers one of its darkest days.

Joann Mitchell said, “I’m still trying to accept the reality that my girls are not here. I am still trying to wake up from that nightmare.”

Mitchell is still trying to come to grips with unbearable heartache. It was the morning of Aug. 9, 2013. A small plane was on approach to Tweed airport when suddenly it fell from the sky, crashing into two homes below. The crash killed Mitchell’s two daughters: 13-year-old Shade and 1-year-old Madisyn.

“I don’t know how I’m going to do every day. I might wake up in a good mood, I might wake up sad. I don’t know, it’s a struggle,” she said.

PHOTO GALLERY: East Haven Plane Crash

Grandmother Georgia Pearson said, “Some nights it’s good nights and some nights I wake up hoping it’s a nightmare.”

Onboard the plane, a father and his teenage son from Washington state were flying to New Haven, to make a college visit to Yale. They were also killed in the crash.

The Rev. Karen Gronback-Johnson, of the Old Stone Church, said, “Today we remember Madysin, Shade, Max and Bill and members of their family and friends on both sides of the country.”

People gathered to remember the lives lost, at a special service that included prayer, song and reflection. Many of the people who attended today’s service didn’t even know the family. But they said they came out here today because this is a tragedy that could’ve happened to anyone. 

“This means a world to me because it stills shows that people care,” said one person.

A year later, Charter Oak Avenue looks much different. Two new homes stand in the place of the ones damaged in the crash, something neighbors say they’re happy to see.

The NTSB says the cause of the plane crash is still under investigation.

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