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Dallas business owner and wife survive Reno air disaster

The president of Cain Food Industries and his wife are home in Dallas, recovering from injuries they received in a plane crash at a Reno air field. The couple was part of a crowd of spectators, standing close enough to the aviation disaster to receive shrapnel injuries from the crash of a P-51 Mustang.

Eleven people died and more than five dozen people were hurt when a show plane plummeted onto the tarmac in front of the National Championship Air Races grandstand. The couple were toasting the event with a group of friends, just 25 feet from the point of impact, when the crowd’s worried exclamations set off a warning.

The company president said he and his wife had seconds to respond. His wife was able to run. The executive said he became entangled in the tarmac chairs and saw the plane descending from 40 feet above the ground.

The husband and wife were both injured by flying shrapnel. The business owner’s leg was fractured in several places. His critical injuries included a severed Achilles tendon and a shrapnel wound deep in his calf. The businessman remains unable to walk after two leg operations. He is expected to recover his mobility, although he will be forced to use crutches for about a year.

The man’s wife was thrown into the grandstand by the force of the plane crash and suffered a concussion. Her arm was sliced by flying debris. A volunteer triage team, consisting of former members of the Air Force, treated her and other air crash victims at the scene.

The businessman reported body parts were strewn around the air field. The man next to him died. The business owner and his wife have begun treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Source:, "Cains recovering from injuries sustained in air crash," Josh Sosland, Sept. 29, 2011

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