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Buffalo Plane crash claims lives of Mangione's band


JethroTull

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Christ, I used to fly those commuter planes ALL THE TIME out of Newark, NJ....

The whole story is sad. The famous 9/11 widow also died in the crash......

Two members of Chuck Mangione's band were killed Thursday night in the commuter plane crash near Buffalo, N.Y., said the jazz musician's publicist.

Mangione's representative told TMZ that band members Gerry Niewood and Coleman Mellett were among the 50 people killed when the flight from Newark, N.J., crashed into a house near Buffalo.

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Thursday's upstate plane crash claimed 9/11 activist Beverly Eckert's life, but left untouched her legacy of helping to better guard the nation against terror strikes, fellow advocates said Friday.

Eckert, of Stamford, Conn., was among the 50 killed when Continental Connection Flight 3407 out of Newark crashed into a house. She was traveling to Buffalo to present a scholarship that she set up after her husband, Sean Rooney, died in the 2001 attacks.

"She continued to participate in the life of our school community" after her husband's death, school president John Knight said. "She did everything she could to take this tragic event of Sean's passing and have something positive come of it," Knight said. "She loved Canisius High School, and we loved her."

Canisius High School is rescheduling the presentation that was planned for Friday to include memorials for Eckert and Rooney.

Eckert was also to go to Rooney's hometown of Buffalo to mark with family and friends what would have been his 58th birthday.

"She was an inspiration to me and so many others, and I pray that her family finds peace in the hard days ahead," said President Barack Obama, who met with Eckert in the nation's capital last week.

Eckert cofounded Voices of September 11, an advocacy group for survivors and 9/11 families. In a statement, the group described Eckert as "passionate and deeply committed."

Fellow activist Sally Regenhard, founder of the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, described Eckert as a tireless advocate. "She was part of every worthwhile endeavor on a wide variety of various issues to advocate, from reform to a proper victims memorial," said Regenhard, whose nonprofit works to improve building safety codes and regulations.

Eckert became a prominent spokeswoman for national anti-terrorism reform. She was part of a small group of Sept. 11 widows, parents and children who ultimately forced lawmakers in 2004 to pass sweeping reforms of the U.S. intelligence apparatus. She lobbied for the creation of the 9/11 Commission, which was chartered in 2002, and provided recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.

On Sept. 11, Rooney called his wife from the 105th floor of Tower Two, where he worked for the risk management company Aon. He told her he was trapped. The two spent his last moments over the phone recapping their life together. She recently donated a tape recording of their conversation to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

In 2006, she reflected on that conversation in an interview.

She said they "tried to live the rest of their lives in the few seconds" they had left together before she heard the tower begin its collapse over the phone.

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In 2006, she reflected on that conversation in an interview.

She said they "tried to live the rest of their lives in the few seconds" they had left together before she heard the tower begin its collapse over the phone.

That is one of the most touchingly beautiful things I've ever read.

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