Daybreak meteorologist’s wife feared for life on flight to Cleveland


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Frontier flight from Las Vegas to Cleveland was grounded overnight Sunday because of severe turbulence and a number of medical emergencies.

A local woman — Debra Loboy, wife of WYTV’s Jim Loboy — was on that flight and says she feared for the worst.

She says things went down hill right at lift off.

“Little rough,” Loboy said. “The wheels got up and immediately the plane started swaying. I had a good view of the wing going all over.”

Debra Loboy was headed home from a conference in Las Vegas. It was supposed to be a routine flight — except winds were up to 60 miles per hour Sunday night around Las Vegas.

“At some point, it did kind of feel that the plane was almost going to flip,” she said. “Because we were just out of control.”

Two-hundred passengers were afraid for their lives.

“Kind of screaming, people reaching for their phones,” Loboy said. “Thinking this might be the last message they’d send to their loved ones.”

They couldn’t return to the Las Vegas airport because of the wind.

The plane leveled out eventually, Loboy says, but then there were medical emergencies.

“There was a pregnant woman who was six months pregnant,” she said. “Who started bleeding pretty good. Not sure if the baby made it.”

Another woman was having what Loboy believes may have been a seizure and was unconscious.

“Several people with their vomit bags,” she said. “We were directed to Salt Lake City. From there, the Salt Lake City Fire Department boarded.”

The two women and several others were taken to get medical help, as the plane stayed grounded for a few hours.

Several people refused to get back on. One man even decided to drive from Salt Lake City back to Cleveland.

“We got back on and everything was OK after that,” Loboy said.

Loboy commends the flight attendants and the pilot for jumping into action with help.

“I was feeling the worst,” she said. “The fear that everyone has — the fear that this is it, I might not see my family again.”

Loboy says she and some of her friends asked about the turbulence severity. She was told there’s a number system — 1 through 4 — and what she experienced was a 4.