After her plane crashed outside of Page, Ariz., Ute Petersen was trapped for four hours, waiting for rescuers – while sitting next to her husband, the pilot, who never left. not come out alive. (Coconino County Sheriff’s Office)
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SALT LAKE CITY – An incredible story of survival and heartache after a plane crashes in the desert just outside of Page, Arizona.
The passenger, who managed to survive, was trapped for four hours, waiting for rescuers, while sitting next to her husband, the pilot, who did not make it out alive.
“I had been holding him for a long time. I pretended he was just unconscious and I’m too stupid to feel a pulse,” Ute Petersen, 58, told KSL from his home in Morgan Hill, Calif. “Deep down inside I knew he was gone.”
Exclusive: A plane crash survivor talks about her incredible story of survival and heartache. Trapped for 4 hours inside the plane with her unsuccessful husband. Which now gives him the will to continue. Alone @ KSL5TV to 6. pic.twitter.com/RS2dOe5gMn
– Dan Rascon (@TVDanRascon) October 5, 2021
On September 22, Ute and her husband, Jim Petersen, 57, left the Bay Area and headed to Page Airport to meet up with friends for a week-long trip to Lake Powell.
About 10 minutes from their destination, their plane suddenly fell from the sky.
Ute Petersen said there had been no warning.
“It was very, very fast. All of a sudden, Jim, I could tell he was getting pissed off,” she said. “He started to maneuver the plane, hit a bunch of buttons on the dashboard, then the next thing I know, we’re on the ground.”
After the forced landing, Petersen got stuck in the co-pilot’s seat where she was sitting.
“I feel like I was run over by a freight train,” said Petersen, who is still recovering from the crash. “I have a lot of injuries – I broke my nose, I have a really big seat belt burn on my shoulder, I broke my breastbone, I broke a few ribs, I broke my collarbone . I’m pretty much all black and blue on my body. “
As he sat on the plane, Petersen didn’t know what to do. She said there was no way to go out and call for help because there was no cell service.
Then, all of a sudden, her phone rang, and her friend picked her up at the airport to check in.
She attributes this call to divine intervention that saved her life. Rescuers found her and took her to a hospital in St. George.
“There is absolutely no reason for this call to go through,” said Petersen.
Inside the plane were the couple’s two dogs – Hudson, the Golden Retriever, and little Kota.
Both dogs survived, but when rescuers arrived four hours later, Hudson tumbled through the plane’s door.
He was lost for three days in the desert, only to be miraculously found alive.
“I already have to wrap myself around the loss of my husband, and the return of the dogs gives me strength and gives me a reason to get out of it,” she said.
Ute and Jim had just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last month and had dreams of retiring.
“I really liked him a lot,” she said. “He was my best friend. He was my best friend, my partner, my lover, my husband.”