Survivor

Carmen Rivera-Worley swam away from the plane crash that killed her daughter. Now she wonders how many more will die before the FAA acts to prevent similar accidents.

But mostly, she's angry at the FAA. Her daughter isn't just a number for the FAA to add to its body count or to somebody's cost-benefit analysis, and neither are the others who died at Lake Pontchartrain and elsewhere, she says. It's wrong that the agency does nothing more when it knows for a fact that if a vacuum pump fails at a critical time, people are very likely to die.

Carmen Rivera-Worley somehow managed to free herself from the wreckage of this single-engine Piper Cherokee after it slammed into the murky waters of Lake Pontchartrain and sank in about 20 feet of water. Three others, including Rivera-Worley's daughter, died in the crash, which was caused by the failure of a vacuum pump.
Carmen Rivera-Worley somehow managed to free herself from the wreckage of this single-engine Piper Cherokee after it slammed into the murky waters of Lake Pontchartrain and sank in about 20 feet of water. Three others, including Rivera-Worley's daughter, died in the crash, which was caused by the failure of a vacuum pump.

"There was every strike against us. There was no way out of that," Rivera-Worley says and then repeats softly. "There was no way out of that. We were doomed. We were absolutely doomed."

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