Oregon City business owner 'should not be alive' after plane crash
An Oregon City business owner is still recovering in the Trauma Recovery and Acute Care Unit at Emanuel Hospital since surviving a July 8 plane crash in Newport.
Clackamas County residents Debbie Reasoner, 61, and her 7-year-old son, Jase, were the only two passengers on the plane being piloted by Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer. Reasoner, the owner of West Coast Phlebotomy on Beavercreek Road in Oregon City for 16 years, said she suffered a broken right arm, broken left leg, many torn ligaments, severe nerve damage in her right leg caused by injury to her lower back, subdural hematoma (brain bleeding) and severe muscle spasms from the blunt trauma of the crash.
As of July 18, Reasoner expected to be released from the hospital in "several days," but will not be able to return to work for months. Jase, who sat in the rear seat of the plane, suffered multiple cuts, but otherwise was OK. Reasoner said her son put his arm around her neck as she reached behind to hold him in the minute before they crashed around 5:10 p.m. near the Newport jetty.
"The doctor said that his head broke my arm, but saved his life," Reasoner said. "The things that go through a mother's mind when she knows she and her son are about to die are just unbelievable, but we just kept telling each other that we loved each other."
Sawyer, 66, was piloting the two Molalla residents in his Cessna 172 Skyhawk II. The three had been whale watching for about 40 minutes when the plane experienced engine trouble and turned around. Sawyer made an emergency landing on the beach.
"All three of us got out, and I am home resting with torn cartilage in my chest," Sawyer wrote on Facebook. "I will be sore for some time."
Sawyer has had a pilot's license for 40 years and has been flying the Cessna for over 30.
"It is obvious that I still need to accomplish something here on Earth, because after falling 60 stories out of the sky, we should not be alive," Reasoner said.
Reasoner, whose friends and family are seeking community support, is raising money for expenses on her Facebook page.
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