Alaska Crash Update

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Former Sen. Ted Stevens and four others, including pilot Terry Smith, died of blunt force trauma and wouldn't have survived no matter how speedy the response to the crash of their Otter floatplane near Dillingham, Alaska, earlier this week. Autopsies were performed in Anchorage and the results were consistent with the type of accident. Photos released by the NTSB showed the Otter largely intact but obviously destroyed and heading directly into rising terrain. There has, of course, been no suggestion of the cause, but weather was terrible at the time of the crash. NTSB Chairwoman Debra Hersman said one of the survivors, who wasn't identified, said "they were flying along and then just stopped flying." Meanwhile, the survivors, including former NASA chief Sean O'Keefe and his son, appear to be literally and figuratively out of the woods.

O'Keefe suffered a dislocated hip but it was put back in place without surgery and without any serious damage to his pelvis. His condition has been upgraded to serious. His son required surgery for unspecified injuries but is in fair condition. The other survivors, Jim Moorhard and William Phillips, are in fair and good condition respectively.