Plane crash survivor "thankful for second chance"

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Scott Walker says he's excited to be back at work again and thankful he's still able to walk.

The Ocean Springs businessman and former mayoral candidate survived the crash landing of a small plane five weeks ago. The pilot and three passengers, including Walker, all miraculously lived through the March 19 crash.

"I appreciate your phone call," Scott Walker told a friend, as he attended a Monday morning leadership breakfast at Beau Rivage in Biloxi.

It was among his first public appearances since March 19, when the small plane he was taking to Destin crash landed in a neighborhood just south of Ocean Springs Airport.

"I had the worst of the injuries because the brunt of the crash, the brunt of the accident was on my side. But I'm just happy to be here and happy to be walking. Doctors have said 95 to 100 percent recovery, when I was a millimeter from being paralyzed from the waist down," said Walker.

Walker credits the skillful actions of the pilot, who somehow managed to guide the small Cherokee airplane onto 12th Street, dodging poles and power lines.

"When the stall light was going off and the plane hit a couple pine trees on the back, I knew it wasn't good," a thankful Walker recalled, "Once he was in the air and we found out it was inevitable we were going to make a crash landing, great job. Not only getting it on the ground, but on a Saturday at two o'clock, avoiding children, avoiding kids on their bikes on a neighborhood street. We're lucky to be here."

Moments after he was pulled from the wreckage, suffering from a broken back and no doubt stunned by what had just happened, Scott Walker still had the presence of mind to make a phone call to his mother.

"That was a bit unnerving, because I had to call 911 and then get to the airport and then follow the ambulance. But it was good he could call me," said Walker's mom, Dr. Sharon Walker.

His father heard about the crash long distance. Dr. Bill Walker was attending a spring training baseball game in Tampa.

"At the time I didn't know if I was coming home to a funeral or a hospital. So, we're just tickled to death to be where we are today. It's a whole lot different and a whole lot better than it was four weeks ago," said Dr. Walker.

Scott Walker still attends physical therapy three days a week.  He's determined and upbeat.

"We are weeks away from walking again, on my own, so I'm as excited as I can be," he said, with a bright smile.

Walker said he'd like to thank everyone for their cards, well wishes and prayers during his recovery.

The FAA is still investigating the cause of the plane crash.

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