35 year later: Remembering victims of Pan Am 759 crash

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KENNER, La.-- A special remembrance mass and prayer cermeony was held today to honor the victims of the Pan Am 759 crash in Kenner, 35 years ago today.

Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn, District 2 Councimlman Mike Segur and former Kenner Police Chief Nick Congemi were among the officials who attended the special mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Kenner.

35 years ago, Flight 759 took off in a severe thunderstorm on July 9, 1982 and crashed in the Morningside Park subdivision, about half a mile east of the runway, shortly before 5 pm.   The flight was headed from New Orleans to Las Vegas.  All 146 people on board the plane died, as well as eight people in the subdivision.

At today's ceremony many of the families came, some from near and some from as far as Australia.  Jennifer White-Goers' parents both died on the Pan Am flight.  It's important for her to come back to honor them.

"I feel like my parents are here.  Even though their ashes were taken back to Australia.  I feel their souls are here.  At first it was very hard for me that both of them left together.  As I got older, it was always comforting to know that they were together," she said.

Melissa Ferrara was just a baby when the plane crashed into the subdivision where she lived.  Both her mother and sister died.  Over the years, she's become known as "The Miracle Baby."

"My mother, sister, and I were all in the house.  I was in a different part of  the house.  Somehow I survived, and I was found three hours later."

A strong force of wind is said to be the cause of the plane crash.


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.