In the print edition there is also a photo vof Mr. Micale, but here is the link to the article, and the text from his portion of the story:
'It ruined my life.'
Richard Micale was flying from Kennedy Airport to Miami in December 1972, carrying Christmas gifts from relatives in Brooklyn and Long Island to his parents. The Eastern Airlines jet crashed into the Everglades, and Micale, a carpenter in his 20s who once lived in Nassau County, was one of 75 who survived among the 178 passengers and crew aboard Flight 401.
"It happened in an instant - first the explosion, then silence out there in the swamp," recalled Micale, who found himself chest-deep in water. Micale says his life was never the same.
"I was glad to be alive, but it ruined my life," said Micale, now 57, who suffered a broken arm and leg and burns. After a long rehabilitation, he said he became overdependent on his medication and soon started abusing drugs like heroin. He blew through a large court settlement - about $225,000 - and didn't become drug-free until a decade ago. Micale now lives on Social Security disability in Florida.
"For years, I didn't have any bad dreams about it, but then a few years ago, I started dreaming about a baby who was crying out there in the swamp," he said.
« Back to index