A mother was getting food with her three daughters when a small plane came crashing down in East Hartford on Tuesday, only feet away from them.
“Just right away it’s like a big sound, and then I was like, ‘Oh my God. My car is right there,’” said Hernandez.
Hernandez and her daughters, Keishla and Kimberly Rivera, had just picked up their other sister, 5-year-old Karina Vera. There were in their Hernandez's minivan when they first saw the plane crash onto Main Street.
"It was like a movie scene," Keishla said. "Who would have thought that would have happened?"
But the van didn't move because the mother was in panic. The girls said the family was frozen while watching the plane crash, but the sound of the impact was so startling, it snapped them out of it.
"All I heard was the 'boom' and a lot of fire and we just ran out as soon as we could," Keishla said.
Pictures show how close the plane came to the van, and the vehicle is now a reminder of that close call. A front headlight is warped and the paint is cracked from the heat of the fire. The right side is melted, blistered, and burned.
Keishla said she was able to get out the car and open the door to help get her 5-year-old sister unbuckle the seatbelt and out of the car.
Even Karina knew something was going on.
"It almost like ... crashed our car in pieces," the 5-year-old told NBC Connecticut.
The girls' mother started experiencing chest pains and was transported to the hospital. The whole family has been released from the hospital.
Hernandez picked up her damaged van and says coming back to the scene was difficult.
As crews cleaned up late into the night and worked to fix broken utility poles, city leaders say they’re working to get the community back to normal.
Hernandez and her family say that’s what they’re working on too.
“You never know when it’s your end. We are lucky, but you never know tomorrow,” said Hernandez. “God is good. That’s it. That’s the only thing. God is good.”
Police said there were two people in the plane during the crash. One was dead at the scene while the pilot was transported to St. Francis Hospital, then to the Bridgeport Burn Unit, and is expected to survive.