Witness Describes Moment Military Airplane Crashes

Three Airmen Died in the Crash

AMARILLO, TX - A Clovis woman recalls the moment a plane fell out  of the sky and killed three military airmen Tuesday night.

Twila Rutter said she often takes walks with family and friends by the Clovis Municipal Airport. She said she has been walking in that area for more than 20 years.

Just before 8 p.m. local time, Rutter said she saw a plane but did not hear it. She did not hear the engine or any engine problems.

"And I mean it was so quiet," Rutter said. "We didn't hear a sound. If we had not  been looking that way or facing that way  I don't know that we would have even realized what was going on."

She said the plane was in a nosedive but a moment of hope rang through her when the plane leveled out. That moment would not last long, Rutter said just a second later the plane crashed into the ground.

"Immediately a huge cloud of dirt and debris went up  and we started running towards  the plane,"  Rutter said. "My daughter  and I did."

A friend ran home and called 911 while another neighbor, an EMT, beat Rutter and her daughter to the scene.

"It was just so unbelievable to see something like that  just literally falling out of the sky," Rutter said. "Immediately your heart goes to is there anyway anyone can survive that."

The families of the victims weighed heavily on Rutter's mind Wednesday.

A Canon AirForce Base Spokesperson, Captain Brandon Baccam, confirmed three airmen from the 318th Special Operations Squadron died. Names would not be released until at least 24 hours after all next of kin had been notified.

Rutter said she and he friends reached out to investigators to make a statement on what they saw. She said they are willing to help in any way they can.




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