As I walked down the basketball court for another b-roll take with Jerry Schemmel, I asked him how many times he’d told this story. “Dozens, over a hundred,” he said. He’s been a guest on Oprah, Regis, The Today Show, 48 hours, and more. He’s also spoken about it at events and gatherings around the country for years.
On this day in December we were filming a segment for History Channel’s new HD series Shockwave. Before that, it was an ESPN feature. Yet each time we heard it, the story seemed so fresh, like it was yesterday…
But it was actually over eighteen years ago that Jerry walked out of the wreckage from the United DC-10 that was forced crash land in Sioux City, Iowa. One hundred and twelve of his fellow passengers died. Jerry lived, and so did the baby he went back in to save. He had heard her muffled cries, and found her locked in an overhead bin - far from where she had been seated. This summer day in July would change both of their lives forever.
Why does he tell this story with such passion each and every time? He believes one of the reasons he survived was to share it. And we have been honored to help him do it. Check out the six-minute feature we shot for ESPN: Jerry Schemmel Feature . And keep an eye on Now Showing in coming months for the History Channel version. For more information, including a book, please visit Jerry Schemmel’s Official Website.
Written by Tom Miller. First published on January 22, 2008. Copyright 2008 Big PIctures Media, Inc.