Widow of hijacked flight pilot died accidentally

AP News
Posted: Sep 14, 2012 4:37 PM
Widow of hijacked flight pilot died accidentally

DENVER (AP) — The widow of a man who piloted one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 died accidentally, a Colorado coroner said Friday.

Sandy Dahl, 52, died on May 25 in Lakewood of acute heart failure due to the combined effects of alcohol and multiple prescription drugs, Jefferson County chief deputy coroner Carl Blesch said.

He said a heart condition — right ventricular dysplasia — was a contributing cause in her death.

The autopsy report states that anti-depression, anti-anxiety, painkiller and tranquilizer drugs were found in her blood stream.

Her husband, Capt. Jason Dahl, of Ken Caryl Ranch was the captain of United Flight 93 as it traveled from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco and went down in Pennsylvania as passengers fought back against terrorist hijackers. It's believed the four terrorists likely wanted to crash the Boeing 757-222 into the White House or Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Sandy Dahl founded a scholarship fund in her husband's honor to provide money for young pilots to receive their education. She also spoke publicly to ensure the heroism of those aboard Flight 93 isn't forgotten.

Patrick White, president of The Families of Flight 93, has said Sandy Dahl was dedicated to completing the Flight 93 National Memorial as a way to honor the heroic actions of her husband along with those of his crew and passengers.

Last year, she told The Denver Post (bit.ly/nDX7Au) that her public role meant that the events of 9/11 were never far from her mind. She sometimes woke up with nightmares and had been told by counselors that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, she said.

"Normally, people have a memorial, and it's behind them then. This is never going away," she told the newspaper before the 10th anniversary of the attacks.