Fayette County

Groundbreaking for 5191 memorial set for Friday

On Friday, the fourth anniversary of the crash of Comair Flight 5191, a groundbreaking is planned at the Arboretum on Alumni Drive for a memorial to the victims, and Gov. Steve Beshear will deliver a $100,000 check pledged by the state.

Gerry Van Der Meer, co-chair of the Flight 5191 Memorial Remembrance Committee, said Wednesday the memorial will cost "in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million dollars."

The Memorial Committee on Friday will launch a fund drive for construction and maintenance of the memorial.

Also speaking Friday will be Mayor Jim Newberry; Scott Smith, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture; and Matt Snoddy and Lois Turner, family members of people who died on the flight.

A model of the memorial was unveiled in June. It showed a 17-foot tall stainless steel sculpture of 49 stylized birds — each about 6 feet in diameter — one for each of the lives lost on Aug. 27, 2006.

The memorial will be placed in the arboretum's Remembrance Gardens.

Comair Flight 5191 crashed after taking off from the wrong runway at Blue Grass Airport, killing all on board but the co-pilot.

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