HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- At least five people are still recovering after a terrifying flight that landed them in the hospital. However, it could've been worse if not for the actions of a nursing student from West Connecticut State University.
The plane was on its way to JFK, but had to make an emergency landing in Louisiana after it encountered severe turbulence.
"From take-off the plane was sliding all around, we had contact turbulence and then all of a sudden we had a big boom," said Olivia D'Avanzo. "It felt like an explosion had gone off in the plane."
Even with all the yelling and screaming, and bodies and laptops flying around in the cabin, D'Avanzo remained calm.
A pregnant woman was in trouble, people were bleeding and a flight attendant was crumpled in the aisle. People were yelling for a doctor, but there were no doctors among the 88 passengers. However, there was a paramedic and D'Avanzo.
"I got up and said 'I am not a doctor, but I am a nursing student,' and she was so grateful and there was a flight attendant laying flat on the floor, screaming in agony," D'Avanzo said. "Her ribs hurt, her back hurt, she couldn't straighten her legs and she had trouble breathing."
So for the next 20 minutes as the plane continued to thrash around in the sky, D'Avanzo sat on the floor treating the flight attendant until they could make an emergency landing in Louisiana.
"I called for an oxygen tank, a pillow, got her neck immobilized and in alignment, and made sure she was as stable as possible until we could land," D'Avanzo said.
D'Avanzo is a nursing student at West Connecticut State University. She had just completed a critical care rotation at Waterbury Hospital. She says if it wasn't for that training she wouldn't have been able to handle what happened on the airplane.
"I was not in a seat when we landed," D'Avanzo said. "I was with her, in the back of the plane, and I was holding on to the side and holding on to her at the same time."
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Stamford homeowner credits a bird for saving his life as his house exploded.
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — Nurses and technicians who have been locked out in a labor dispute with Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London have learned that state law does not protect them from losing health care coverage.
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — It's been a painful and frenetic year for all of Newtown, Conn.
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Bristol police say they have arrested and charged a 51-year-old man who threatened to blow up City Hall because of a lien placed on property he owns.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Two men charged with supporting terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya are due to appear in a federal court in Connecticut.
A 22-year-old Norwich woman was arrested for selling drugs in a parking lot and attempting to flee from officers on Monday.
A Danbury teen was stabbed to death during a brawl on Saturday night.
Route 1 in Guilford was closed in both directions Monday afternoon, because of a house fire.
The Goodspeed Opera House has offered Trumbull High School their stage for the student's canceled production of Rent.
It's still not clear what triggered a deadly shooting in Manchester over the weekend but police say they now know the identity of the person who killed the three women before taking his own life.