'We owe it to them.' Surviving family members mark 26 years since crash of TWA Flight 800

It was back in 1996 when TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed in the ocean just off the Moriches inlet near Smith Point Park.

News 12 Staff

Jul 18, 2022, 3:06 AM

Updated 645 days ago

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Surviving family members of victims of the TWA Flight 800 crash came together near Smith Point Park in Shirley Sunday to mark 26 years since the tragedy.
It was back in 1996 when TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed in the ocean just off the Moriches inlet near Smith Point Park.
The tragedy shook Long Islanders and families around the world.
It is in Smith Point Park where a memorial stands and where families and friends of the victims gathered on Sunday night.
On July 17, 1996, 230 passengers and the TWA Flight 800 crew departed John F. Kennedy International Airport for Paris. But 10 minutes later, all died in midflight on their way to the French city.
The names of the 230 passengers and the crew of TWA Flight 800 once again echoed through the memorial. It's an annual tradition that Margret Krick said never gets any easier. Her son, Ollie, was the flight engineer on the ill-fated plane.
"I have to be here. There is no other place I could find any peace," Krick said.
It was only her son's fourth flight. He was still training.
"This is very emotional, yes," said Maria Toscano, who lost her 25-year-old niece, Virginia.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the explosion on board TWA 800 originated in the plane's center fuel tank, although some still don't believe that conclusion.
Still, for the families that doesn't matter. The site of the crash and the memorial is what matters because they said it's all about keeping the victims' memories alive.
Mourners then tossed white carnations into the sea and many said a prayer for peace.
"I owe it. We owe it to them, I owe it to my son. He had the world at his feet, but it was over so quickly," Krick said.
Some family members said they come to the memorial throughout the year, but it's on July 17 they said is special, and they'll always come back on the day that marks the tragedy so their loved ones' memories never fade.


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