Dutchess County family welcomes support following plane tragedy

Posted: Updated:

The Bocker family says they appreciate all the support they’ve received as they try to pick up the pieces after a tragic small plane crash into their home this summer.

On Aug. 17, Sarah Bocker’s life changed drastically when a small plane slammed into her Dutchess County home. She was able to escape, along with a few pets. But her younger sister Hannah and their father were trapped.

Eventually, Hannah Bocker was able to evacuate and was rushed to Westchester Medical Center with second- and third-degree burns over 90% of her body. Their father did not make it.

"Hannah, as a burn victim, has to be able to come to grips with what has happened to her appearance, but that's not gonna change her for the worse," says Sarah Bocker.

News 12 was told Sarah Bocker and her mother are staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Valhalla, so they’re able to visit her every day.

The community support for the Bocker family has been tremendous. Walter Ferguson, director of Burn Care Everywhere, invited Sarah Bocker to speak at the Westchester Career Fire Academy.

"These young firefighters are going out in their communities, they're learning every time they put the bunker pants on, every time that they get on an apparatus, every time they go out the door that somebody is depending on them,” says Ferguson.

Her speech moved the audience so much that a fundraiser was organized for the Bocker family.

"These are tragedies that do happen, and any way we can help the family out especially with a great foundation such as Mr. Ferguson, is really how we decided that we wanted to come out as a class," says firefighter recruit Ricky Colasacco.

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