Crash of Flight 5191

Hersman recalls how community handled tragedy with dignity

The NTSB face most closely associated with the Lexington crash brought a piece of Lexington with her to yesterday’s board meeting. Debbie Hersman, the board member sent to the scene last August, carried a bright blue UK plastic cup in her handbag.

“This has been a long year for the families, and I know today was hard for them,” Hersman said after the meeting. “I hope the families got some of the answers they were seeking. Nothing will diminish their pain. ... What we can do is help make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Hersman said she feels a special attachment to Lexington, like nothing she’s felt at the scenes of other tragedies she’s handled.

“Lexington was a very special place. I saw a lot of grace come out of the tragedy. Family members handled themselves with amazing dignity and poise.”

She said she was overwhelmed by the community support, from the people who held signs along the side of the road to Home Depot donating ropes and gloves.

“To a person, the community put their arms around each other and supported each other,” Hersman said. She plans to return again next month for the memorial of the Aug. 27 crash.Remembering lexington

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