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Obama thanks pilot, first responders after crash

By: Maria St.Louis-Sanchez, The Gazette
June 2, 2016 Updated: June 2, 2016 at 9:11 pm
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President Barack Obama took a moment to thank the Thunderbirds pilot who crashed on Thursday and the first responders who tended to him.

The pilot, Maj. Alex Turner, met with Obama before the president flew out of Peterson Air Force Base about 2:10 p.m.

Obama, in Colorado Springs to give the commencement speech at the academy, stopped his motorcade on the tarmac near Air Force One and shook hands with Turner moments before his plane lifted off to Washington, D.C.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president "thanked the pilot for his service to the country and expressed his relief that the pilot was not seriously injured." The president also thanked the first responders who "acted quickly to tend to the pilot."

Air Force Academy sources said Turner's plane engine failed. Turner was able to safely eject, and the plane came to rest in a field across from the First Baptist Church in the Security/Widefield area, at 7925 Fontaine Blvd.

The official cause of the crash is under investigation.

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