“I heard the screams on the plane and without hesitation, I was in and out,” Man reflects on working night of deadly Little Rock plane crash

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — June 1st, marks the 22 year anniversary of a deadly plane crash in Little Rock.

Kennedy Summons, a man who was working the night of the crash, said he was a ramp agent with American Airlines at the time, and said he kept his story bottled up all these years but now he’s sharing details. 

“I live it each day, when you witness something in a storm of that magnitude… way back then,” Summons said. 

It’s a day many Arkansans will never forget, just like Summons.

“That’s when we saw the smoke, coming in the sky,” Summons said. “That’s when we got on the service truck, it’s not our job title but we took off.”

The flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was headed to Little Rock and overran the runway while trying to land during a thunderstorm, and crashed into the levy.

Summons said as they got closer to the runway, they saw the chaotic scene. 

11 people died, 134 people survived.

“People asked me, how did you climb up on a plane that’s on fire and I can’t really give them an answer. It’s something that takes over inside,” Summons said. “I heard the screams on the ground, I heard the screams on the plane and without hesitation, I was in and out.”

That day, still has long term effects on Summons who said he now suffers from severe PTSD.

He said he has been through therapy, uses sleeping pills and still has triggers, something his family sees often.

“I’m happy about what he did but at the same time I’m mad, that’s my dad,” daughter, Shyatta Summons said. “He hasn’t been the same”

Summons hopes to get better with time, but after risking it all to save others, he said he hopes to one day reunite with survivors he helped. 

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