“I’ve been Told that I Carried Her 500 Yards. I Thought It was 20 Feet”

On 26 August 2012, while driving home from his job in Wainscott, New York, bread baker Craig Schum saw a protest against the noise made at East Hampton Airport and stopped to investigate. He was barefoot, as he likes to be after work, and he saw something. He said, “My first thought was, ‘That was a plane crash,’ and that was pretty much my last thought.” He ran to the site of the crash. Mr. Schum said, “I did not make a conscious choice to help. That crappy cartoon stuff is really true. I was just going. I was running barefoot through the woods.” Steven Bochter, age 51, and his female passenger, Kim Brillo, had just taken off from East Hampton Airport when they crashed in the woods just beside the airport about 100 yards east of Daniels Hole Road. Mr. Schum had to climb a deer fence that was 12 to 14 feet high to get to the crash site. He said, “One of the only thoughts I remember having was at the top, thinking, ‘You shouldn’t jump over this.’ But then I jumped.” The front of the plane was engulfed in fire when he got there. Mr. Bochter, the pilot, was covered in blood and stumbling outside the plane. Ms. Brillo was still inside. She was unconscious, and she was covered in blood. Mr. Schum said, “I believe[d] her to be dead.” He pulled her out of the plane just before the rest of it caught on fire. He said, “I’m covered in her blood and she’s just covered in blood and [Bochter]’s aware enough to recognize that she’s hurt, and he says her name, ‘Kim, Kim.’ So I hold her hand, and I’m sort of holding her head and saying, ‘Kim, you’re going to be OK. Everything’s all right.” Ms. Brillo moved her head, and they then knew she was still alive. Mr. Schum held her and ran back to the deer fence. He said, “I’ve been told that I carried her 500 yards. I thought it was 20 feet.” Another man was at the deer fence, and he and Mr. Schum pulled the stakes out of the fence and pushed both Mr. Bochter and Ms. Brillo through. The two plane crash survivors were airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital. East Hampton Town Police Chief Ed Ecker said, “Thank God there was some immediate response from people at the airport.” Mr. Schum’s mother, Donna Fraser, said that she was proud of her son: “I kind of wish I were there to give him a big hug. He does tend to be somebody who will help someone in distress, you know? Animals, people, whatever, but certainly not ever anything like this. But he’s got that about him.” Mr. Schum said, “I’m going to the hospital, because I want to give this girl a hug. That’s all I want, to give this girl a hug and make sure she’s OK.”

For More Information: Adriana Pratt, “Barefoot Bread Baker Craig Schum Pulls 2 From Fiery Hamptons Plane Crash.” ABC News. 27 August 2012 <http://news.yahoo.com/barefoot-bread-baker-craig-schum-pulls-2-fiery-181746156–abc-news-topstories.html&gt;.

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