Stevens plane crash survivor recounts experience

Posted: Sunday, October 24, 2010

ANCHORAGE - Ex-NASA chief Sean O'Keefe says he was knocked unconscious when the floatplane crashed on a remote mountainside in Alaska. He awoke in a daze with former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens sitting next to him.

O'Keefe tells NBC he checked Stevens for a pulse and realized his 86-year-old longtime friend was dead. He would later learn four others among the nine on board had died.

O'Keefe says he was greatly relieved that his 19-year-old son, Kevin O'Keefe, survived the Aug. 9 crash in southwest Alaska.

The group was heading from a lodge to a fishing trip when the 1957 DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter plane went down.

O'Keefe, who still wears a neck brace and leg brace, says there was no turbulence before the crash.

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