Fear Saved Helicopter Mom

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 10, 2009 4:46 AM CDT
The wreckage of a helicopter is lifted by crane from the Hudson River yesterday.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – An Italian mom too frightened to take a helicopter tour of Manhattan saved her life—but lost most of her family as the copter collided with a plane over the Hudson River, reports the New York Daily News. Silvia Rigamonti got cold feet at the last minute. The tour was supposed to be part of her 25th wedding anniversary celebration. Soon after she chickened out, her teenage son, husband, and a family of three who had traveled to New York with Rigamonti's family were dead.

"My mother was scared and that is why she did not go up in the helicopter," said her older son, Davide Norelli, who stayed behind in Bologna, Italy. He believes his mother witnessed the accident. The helicopter tour was a gift to Rigamonti's husband, Michele Norelli, from his sister. Davide Norelli said he was heartened to hear his mother's voice when he called after seeing news reports about the crash, only to realize that she was the only one left alive.