St. Cecilia grad among jet crash survivors
A 2004 graduate of St. Cecilia was among the survivors of Saturday's plane crash at San Francisco International Airport.
Ryan Boesch and his girlfriend, Mandy McLean, were traveling in China and Thailand for research and were en route to their homes in Stanford, Calif., when the crash occurred.
Boesch and McLean were seated in row 14 of the Asiana Airlines flight, which originated in Shanghai and stopped in Seoul en route to San Francisco.
Boesch sustained a sprain in his foot and twisted his knee during the crash. McLean sustained a cut on her forehead.
After evacuating the plane, both of them assisted other injured passengers and then were taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital at about 5:30 p.m. The crash occurred around 11:30 a.m.
Boesch said that emergency response teams were already on the runway when the plane touched down.
"After we evacuated the plane, we just got out of the way. We waited out on the runway, and watched the plane melt, basically," Boesch said in an interview this morning.
Boesch and McLean are back in Stanford and plan to resume work this week.
Boesch's mother, Lynn Saffer, now lives in Lincoln and received a call from Boesch just after the crash happened.
"He said it was very chaotic, and very disturbing. Surreal, too. The word he kept saying over and over was surreal," Saffer said.
"He was trying to help some older people off the runway, and he helped a child who got separated from his mom. He said some people were horrified, some were more in control."
Saffer said Boesch intends to seek counseling and take the time to recover.
"Both of them were pretty shaken up," she said.
Boesch has lived in Stanford for four years and is pursuing his doctorate degree in engineering. McLean is a native of Newfoundland, Canada, and is pursuing her doctorate in environmental earth systems and sciences.