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Outreach being offered by Roselawn mourners

For Terri Henry Severin of Chicago and Jennifer Stansberry Miller of Indianapolis, the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 is not just another faraway tragedy.

For Severin and Miller, it's deja vu.

Severin and Miller lost loved ones in the Oct. 31, 1994, crash of American Eagle Flight 4184 in Roselawn, Ind., which claimed 68 lives.

Both planes were turboprops that crashed in icy conditions, leaving dozens of families racked with pain and searching for answers.

Answers are hard to come by, but Severin and Miller said they want the families who lost loved ones in the Feb. 12 crash in Clarence Center to know one thing: They're not alone.

"It's a long journey ahead, and we're here to direct and guide them," said Severin, who lost her sister, Patty Henry, and a nephew, Patrick Henry, in the 1994 crash. "They have no idea what's ahead of them at this point."

Miller, who lost her brother, Brad Stansberry, in the 1994 crash, agreed. "After something like this happens, you have a lot of questions, and you don't know where to turn," she said. "We can provide some guidance along the way."

The families of Flight 4184 have a blog, http://roselawn4184.blogspot.com, where survivors of other crashes can read about the Indiana accident and how families reacted to it.

In addition, Severin wrote a book, "In the Wake of the Storm," about her experiences and has a Web site, www.inthewakeofthestorm.com.

Severin and Miller also can answer questions via e-mail at Info4184@gmail.com.

"They can feel free to call on those who've lived through this rather unique situation to help them through it," Severin said.

Severin and Miller stressed that it's important for families of the victims to not only find ways to cope with their loss, but also to work to try to make something good come out of it.

For example, victims of Flight 4184 pressed Congress for a law that bolstered assistance for victims of airline tragedies. The law passed in 1996.

Working to find answers to the crash, or to prevent similar tragedies, will leave survivors with a valuable lesson, Severin said. "There is," she said, "life after this death."

e-mail: jzremski@buffnews.com

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