VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WTKR) — On Good Friday last year, one of the most powerful men in Virginia Beach felt completely powerless after military jet crashed into an apartment complex.
On most days, Mayor William Sessoms enjoys his 5th floor view of Virginia Beach. But he’ll never forget Good Friday of 2012 when he looked out his window and saw smoke and flames.
What he feared turned out to be true: A U.S. Navy jet had lost power and crashed into the Mayfair Mews Apartments off Birdneck Road.
“To what extent people were injured perhaps had died that was hugely on my mind,” says Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms.
WTKR was there when he raced to the scene with tears in his eyes dreading that he would likely be the first to know if there were bodies beneath the smoke and flames.
Sessoms held his breath with each update from the fire chief.
“We haven’t found any bodies whatsoever at this point, but at the conclusion of every conversation he said, ‘I can’t guarantee that we won’t find some later,’” says Sessoms.
It was at that point he wished he could close his eyes, but he kept them open to see a bad thing bring out the best in people.
“It was pretty much a proud moment for me when I saw the citizens of Virginia Beach first helping lift fire hoses with the firemen to get the hoses where they needed to be,” says Sessoms.