One on the Ground: The Story of One Family Before, During, and After Continental Flight 3407 Crashed into their Home

One on the Ground: The Story of One Family Before, During, and After Continental Flight 3407 Crashed into their Home

by Karen Wielinski


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February 12, 2009 was an ordinary evening at home for the Wielinski family. Karen said good night to her husband Doug as he left their family room. Their daughter was reading in an upstairs room. Minutes later their world and their home collapsed into flaming wreckage around them.

The crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, New York resulted in the loss of everyone aboard the plane and “one on the ground.” Karen and her daughter miraculously escaped. Doug did not.

In this compelling memoir, Karen Wielinski has written a moving tribute to her husband along with her account of how she and her surviving family faced the myriad losses caused by the crash of Flight 3407.This is the story of one man, one home, and one family. It is the story of life before, during and after an unthinkable tragedy. As the members of the Wielinski family struggle to emerge from devastation, their lives are woven together with others who have experienced their own losses caused by the crash of Flight 3407. This is a story of survival and the bond of love that continues to unite a family.

Karen’s strength was tested time and time again in the years after the crash. Here is a description of watching a computerized simulation that had been prepared for impending litigation. The simulation had been coordinated with cockpit, audio recovered from the ”black box.” Karen tells how she felt as she watched and listened with her attorneys.

“Sixty seconds remained… closer and closer… My heart beat faster and faster. I sat at the edge of my chair and leaned toward the computer screen. A vision flashed in my mind: on the ground, Doug, Jill and I were oblivious to what was about to occur, but by now we would have paused and wondered. What is that? My eyes glued to the screen, I heard the pilot and co-pilot’s screams and a desperate “Christ!” and then… the blow was delivered. My hand covered the gasp that escaped from my mouth as I fell back into the chair, sobbing. My hands shook.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680610079
Publisher: Librastream LLC
Publication date: 02/12/2017
Pages: 366
Sales rank: 647,219
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Karen Wielinski is a freelance writer who has lived in East Aurora, New York since 2010. Along with the love of her daughters and grandchildren, her involvement in a local writing group continues to be a source of inspiration and strength to her.

Each segment of this book has a date at the end, the date it was written. Careful readers will see from those dates how Karen has grown as a writer in the years since the crash of Flight 3407 into her home.

A fellow writer told her:

I do believe that you would have got around to taking up writing again if you and Doug had been given time to enjoy the empty nest phase of your lives together, but I also believe that some of the power of your words was transferred to you as that plane hit your home. I am reminded of an applicable cliche - the finest steel is tempered by the hottest fire.

Karen plans to keep writing. She also plans that her future work will include some cheerful subjects.

Table of Contents





Part One--February 2009 - February 2010
February 2009
Daily Bread
March 2009
April 2009
Sharing a Passion
May 2009
June 2009
The Flea Market
July 2009
​In Repair
The Story Behind the Story
August 2009
The Quilt
September 2009
Storage Sheds
The Kiss
October 2009
November 2009
Going the Extra Mile
December 2009
A Special Gift
​Simple Pleasures
January 2010
Land of Make Believe
An Interesting Turn of Events
February 2010
Bound by Tragedy
Sharing a Meal
The Essence of the Man
Part Two -- The Families
​February 2013
Never Say Never

Part Three -- 6038 Long Street
The Block Party
Edge of the Undertow
Celebration of Life
Dedication Speech (June 2, 2012)
A Change of Heart
Just Because

Part Four-The Trial
Eight Days

Part Five-Aftermath
24 More Hours
Six Years Later
February, 2016
The Web

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