Buffalo, New York- February 11, 2011 – In honor of the lives lost in the crash of Continental Flight 3407 on February 12th, 2009, and the efforts of the victims’ family members to fight for stronger aviation safety regulations, the #1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes men’s basketball team will commemorate the two-year anniversary of the crash by wearing 3407 patches on their uniforms in Saturday’s nationally-televised game vs #13 Wisconsin (2 pm ET tipoff on ESPN).
“Obviously our basketball family has deeply felt this tragedy through what Kevin has faced, and we hope to honor those who were lost in a small way by wearing these patches,’ stated Ohio State’s head coach Thad Matta, referring to Video Coordinator Kevin Kuwik, who lost his thirty year old girlfriend Lorin Maurer in the crash. “And I just continue to be amazed by the determination of the family members by fighting to make sure something positive comes out of this, as they have met with the President, gotten a new law passed, and even this week, went back to Washington to make sure that the law does not get weakened in any way possible. I know that the regional airlines are going to be safer for everyone who flies because of their efforts, and for that they have my deepest admiration and thanks.”
“Being from Ohio, there is no doubt that there is nothing bigger in this state than the Ohio State Buckeyes,” stated Denise Perry of Loveland, Ohio, who lost her twenty-seven year old son Johnathan and his fiancee Nicole Korczykowski. “Throw in the fact that they are #1 in the country, and that we have family in Wisconsin, and this is a really big deal. But most importantly, what they are doing is another way to help our group get the word out about regional airline safety, and what all of our loved ones didn’t know when they got on that plane, so that hopefully another family doesn’t have to lose a son or a brother or any loved one because of a tragedy that was completely preventable”
Since the National Transportation Safety Board’s initial public hearing into the crash in May 2009 that revealed numerous safety gaps in the regional airline industry, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ have been fighting for more stringent standards for the nation’s regional airlines. Their efforts resulted in Congress passing and the President signing into law ‘The Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010’ last August, which represented the most sweeping aviation safety legislation in over fifty years. The group is currently sharply focused on the FAA’s efforts to develop stronger regulations on pilot fatigue and minimum pilot qualifications for regional airlines.