EAST LAKE, Ala. (WIAT) – When UPS Flight 1354 went down in a field in East Birmingham, Ryan Wimbleduff was sleeping inside his home.
His great aunt and uncle built the brick home just off Tarrant-Huffman Road over 40 years ago.
“I remember when it used to be houses over there. I know people that used to live in that particular area right there,” he said.
In an open field, less than a mile away from his garage door are remnants of that UPS cargo plane.
“You’re just trying to rationalize it when I heard the first boom; I opened my eyes and closed them back. Then, the second one came and shook the house.”
From his garage door, Wimbleduff saw flames so bright; 5 a.m. looked like the middle of the day.
“We always watch the planes, they come so low over our house,” says Wimbleduff
But the plane he saw in the early morning hours of August 14, 2013, didn’t make it to the run way.
“I’m praying for them and their families because no one wants to hear about a life loss, I’m happy and thanking the lord that nothing to my house and my house and my family.”
“This morning we could have so many of our citizens gone in addition to the pilots but my prayers and thoughts are with them and also to the neighbors out here,” said Birmingham City Councilwoman Maxine Parker, who represents the area where the plane went down.
Both sentiments echo throughout the East Birmingham neighborhood, as residents count their blessings and pray for others.