WhiteBoardness - 11/24/97
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 97 21:24:54 -0800
Subject: WhiteBoardness - 11/24/97
Excerpted-from: WhiteBoard News for Monday, November 24, 1997
A small airplane took off without its pilot Sunday and flew for nearly two
hours before crashing in a field.
Paul A. Sirks of Dayton had landed the single-engine plane at Urbana's
Grimes Field airport because of mechanical problems, said police Officer
The plane's engine stalled on a taxiway and Sirks got out to restart it by
hand-turning the propeller. Once the engine started, the empty plane taxied
away without Sirks, nearly hitting another plane and a hangar before
The plane circled the area for about five minutes before heading northeast,
tracked by another private pilot and State Highway Patrol aircraft.
It finally went down about 90 miles away in central Ohio, some 50 miles
northeast of Columbus, said Patrol Lt. John Born. Authorities said it may
have run out of fuel.
The Federal Aviation Administration, Highway Patrol and Urbana police were
investigating. No charges had been filed against Sirks.
Greyhound apologized and gave a refund to an 80-year-old woman for kicking
her off a bus in the middle of the night with her birthday present: a tiny
puppy named Cookie.
The bus driver discovered Antonia Sanabria's gift, told her it wasn't
allowed and ordered her off at a rural truck stop about 80 miles from home
in Tampa at 3 a.m. Friday. She had boarded the bus Thursday night in Panama
City for the 340-mile trip home after visiting her daughters.
A security guard summoned by the bus driver called Marion County sheriff's
deputies - adding to her fright.
"When the bus pulled away and I saw all those policemen I was scared," Mrs.
Sanabria said. "I thought they were going to put me in jail. I don't know,
I was crazy with fear. I've never gone to jail."
Greyhound has suspended the unidentified driver, who has been with the
company for 20 years, pending an investigation.
In addition to the $150 refund, Greyhound also found and returned Mrs.
Sanabria's luggage, which had gone to Tampa without her, and gave her a
voucher for another trip.
"We are very sorry that it happened. This is one of those once-in-a-million
kinds of things," company spokesman George Gravely said today. "It is a
What could have quickly become a terrifying ordeal for the woman, who walks
with a crutch and has trouble hearing and seeing, instead became an
After getting her a sandwich and something to drink, police from different
jurisdictions teamed up to ferry Mrs. Sanabria from the Ocala area to her
Tampa doorstep in five different patrol cars.
"I've never seen so many people so nice with me - an old lady. They gave me
love, respect, attention," she said. "Love has a lot of names - compassion,
As soon as she got home, all Mrs. Sanabria wanted to do was sleep, which
she did with her 7-week-old Pekinese pup.
When she woke up, she found a bouquet of roses with a card that read: "We
want you to know there are still some nice people in the world." It was sent
by Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies in Tampa who coordinated the relay.
After the police rescue, Mrs. Sanabria was far from bitter.
"It was a birthday I'll never forget," Mrs. Sanabria said.
© 1997 Peter Langston