“You see them go down quite often. You never think that it'd be somebody in your home town, home neighborhood.” said Cherrie Stanger in 2000.
Now Cherrie cringes at the sight of plane crashes on the television and at the news of the missing jet that took off from Malaysia and disappeared on Saturday.
The man in her hometown was Jeff Platz, her boyfriend. Jeff was a director of manufacturing at Cellport, a company based out of Boulder, Colo.
“We were checking everything to see if he was alive,” said Stanger in an interview today with ABC 4 Utah.
At the time of the crash the country was dealing with a storm. The pilot made the decision to take off but then something went wrong.
“The pilot was going down the wrong runway. It was closed for construction. It hit a crane on the way out and split the plane in three different parts and slammed it back down on the runway,” said Stranger.
It was terrifying for family and friends to watch the destruction left behind.
“It was coming back and across to us that Jeff was alive. Then we got the news that everyone was accounted for and Jeff wasn't one of those people,” says Stanger.
Out of the 179 passengers on board, Jeff was one of the 83 people who died that day.
“It's not a call you ever want, something is wrong with the plane. You don't want that call ever,” says Stanger.
It’s a call Cherrie is reminded of every time she sees another plane go down.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.