Man who helps plane crash survivor impacts people nationwide

Exactly a week ago Saturday, Local 6 talked to Larry Wilkins for the first time – he’s the man who opened his door to the only survivor of a deadly plane crash in Lyon County.  Seven-year-old Sailor Gutzler lost her parents, sister, and cousin in that crash.      

“Once in a lifetime experience for me and God I hope it doesn’t happen to me again,” Wilkins said.

Sailor has not only impacted Wilkins, but people from across the country. He said all he did was open a door, but since he’s opened it, gratitude’s been pouring in.

“I appreciate it, but you would have done the same thing I did. I just answered the door, and anybody that would do anything different from what I did would be a disgrace,” Wilkins said.

This past week, strangers nationwide have been mailing Wilkins letters saying thanks. 

“One is from a little lady in Connecticut that’s 93 years old. She has 9 children,” Wilkins said.

Someone from Indiana gave him a $200 gift certificate to a Huddle House near his home. Another man from Arizona, started a chain email hailing his two dogs Bonnie and Pete as heroes.

Wilkins said his two dogs helped him hear Sailor’s knock at the door.

“You’d think after what she’d been through She would have pounded on that door like a mad man but she barely knocked,” Wilkins said.

He said both of them went right up to her, and that she said it had been really comforting. A feeling he hopes Sailor doesn’t forget, because he’ll never forget her.

Wilkins said he’s staying in touch with Sailor’s grandfather. He said it looks like she is getting a lot of support and love from her family, and that he hopes to meet her in person sometime next month.

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