- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 4, 2003

MONTEREY, Mass., March 4 (UPI) — Three young brothers remained hospitalized Tuesday with injuries suffered in a Massachusetts plane crash that killed their parents and two other brothers.

The boys — ages 2, 5 and 10 — survived some 18 hours in bitter cold and snow after the Sunday-night crash in remote western Massachusetts woods before being rescued by helicopters at mid-day Monday.

The boys' mother and two other brothers were found dead at the scene of the crash in the Beartown State Forest in Monterey, Mass. The father, Ronald Ferris, 39, of Swanzey, N.H., was rescued by snowmobile but died a short time later at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington.

Flown by helicopter to the Albany Medical Center 60 miles away in Albany, N.Y., were Ryan Ferris, 2; Jordan Ferris, 5; and Tyler Ferris, 10. They were reported in critical condition suffering from severe hypothermia. Tyler also had a broken leg.

The mother, Tayne, 36, and two older brothers — Kyle and Shawn — were found dead by emergency medical personnel lowered to the scene from helicopters.

The Ferris family was en route home from a Florida vacation when the plane apparently experienced icing difficulties as it approached southern New England Sunday evening.

The wreckage of the Piper Cherokee Six was found in about 4 feet of snow on Mount Wilcox in the southern Berkshires of Massachusetts.

A helicopter crew spotted the 5-year-old brother outside the wreckage waving his hands. The 2-year-old was found partially submerged in a creek not far from the wreckage.

Overnight temperatures into Monday morning were in the single digits with winds gusting to some 40 miles per hour.

"This was a miraculous story of survival for those children, and a heroic effort by the rescuers," said Massachusetts State Police Lt. Marian McGovern.

"This rescue is the stuff movies are made of," said state police Sgt. Richard Toman.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Ferris, a car dealer who earned his pilot's license four years ago, radioed air traffic controllers just before 7 p.m. Sunday that he was changing his flight plan because of bad icing on the aircraft.

He diverted toward the airport at Great Barrington, Mass., but went down some 10 miles away.

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