Aug 8, 2010 8:18 PM
"It was just really scary. You just don't think about it right then, you are just in shock and it just stays with you though, think how close you did come to death." Carol Griffin had just returned from lunch on what started out as a typical day, 14 years ago. Only a few moments after arriving on the job at the Oroville Mercury-Register, Griffin heard a loud bang. "The floor started shaking, the desk, everything was shaking, the floors were pitching," Griffin explained.
A U.S. Air force U-2 spy plane crashed into the Oroville Mercury-Register office. The pilot, Captain Randy D. Roby, and a woman who just paid for her subscription, Jerri Vering, were left dead. Meanwhile, chaos and fireballs flew inside the building, knocking some employees off their chairs. All the attic sprinklers were set off and the room was filled with thick black smoke. "I couldn't believe it, I just never been in anything like that before and I couldn't believe it at all."
What is now just an empty field, 14 years ago was the site of a fiery nightmare that still remains fresh in the minds of some. "It took me a while to get over it because anytime I was in a structure and a low flying plane came flying over, it just kind of freaked you out."
Griffin tried to leave the building, but went back for her purse. She was the last one to exit, after a firefighter led her out.
Some people call Captain Roby a hero. It is believe he tried to steer the plane away from the heavily populated downtown oroville area and land in the Feather River, but fell short.