- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 10, 2004

BILLINGS, Mont. - Jodee Hogg had survived the plane crash and a cold night on top of a mountain. She feared if she and her injured companion didn’t start hiking, neither of them would survive a second night.

Miss Hogg, 23, and Matthew Ramige, 30, had been presumed dead when the small plane carrying them and two other U.S. Forest Service workers crashed Sept. 20 in the Great Bear-Bob Marshall Wilderness Area.

“I had a feeling that it was absolutely unacceptable for me to sit down and quit,” Miss Hogg said recently, recounting how she and Mr. Ramige managed to make their way out of the wilderness. “I was perfectly capable of walking, and I had walked a lot farther than that in my life before.”

Miss Hogg recalled how she and Mr. Ramige struggled to make their way off the mountain, convinced that they could not wait to be rescued if they wanted to survive.

Miss Hogg, with a sprained foot and back, and Mr. Ramige, suffering a broken back and severe burns, hobbled to a highway where they eventually flagged down motorists. The distance was probably only three to five miles, but their travel time was 29 hours.

The crash, still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, killed pilot Jim Long and Davita Bryant instantly. Ken Good survived the impact, though he died a short time later. Mr. Ramige remains in a Seattle hospital.

Miss Hogg recounted the unexpected crash, and said the plane was on fire by the time it came to a stop on the mountain and she quickly unbuckled her seat belt to escape.

Miss Hogg managed to build a boxlike shelter from scattered plane parts. By morning, she said, she knew she and Mr. Ramige had to start moving.

“It was probably the longest night I’ve ever had in my life,” she said. “We kept our spirits up.”

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