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Fairview plane crash survivors recovering

June 30, 2010|By Rebecca Palsha | Channel 2 News
  • Members of the Cavner family including 2-year-old Hudson Cavner, who were aboard a small plane that crashed earlier this month near Anchorage's Merrill Field, are continuing to recover. (Courtesy photo)
Members of the Cavner family including 2-year-old Hudson Cavner, who were aboard a small plane that crashed earlier this month near Anchorage's Merrill Field, are continuing to recover. (Courtesy photo)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Members of the Cavner family continue to endure painful surgeries as they recover from a fiery plane crash earlier this month. The financial burden from hospital bills might be a little easier to handle, thanks to some Alaska hunters.

The Alaska Professional Hunters Association says its members volunteered to take on some of Preston Cavner's hunting trips, which the family relies on to make a living.

Their recovery is being documented in an online journal.

"I think everybody's doing all right considering the circumstances. My parents are struggling everyday to get through everything, but as far as the tragedy itself I think we're trying to move beyond that and move to a rehabilitation stage," said Eric Julian, brother of Stacie Cavner.  

Four-year-old Myles was killed in the plane crash near Anchorage's Merrill Field, but the rest of the family -- Preston, Stacie and 2-year-old Hudson -- survived. So did the family's 16-year-old babysitter, Rachel Zientak of Texas.

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"She had both of her legs amputated below the knee, so she's going to have to have two new legs. As far as her right hand, she had all her fingers removed except part of the thumb and they're working on the left hand this afternoon," said Julian.

"The livelihood of these people hinges on the hunters they take out, and any way that we can organize or the people can organize helping to assist in flying, or people that will take hunters out to take them out when they can't do it," said Sue Entsminger with APHA.

APHA members are taking on Preston's clients, and some of the money will be given back to the family.

"Anyone that's self-employed when you lose your way of making a living -- I mean, they have medical bills that will be astronomical, and any way to help them through this process is very critical, I would say," said Entsminger.

Officials are still looking through the maintenance records of the plane and have not concluded why the plane crashed.

Contact Rebecca Palsha at rpalsha@ktuu.com.

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