More survivor stories from Flight 1404

HOUSTON [HEAR IT: Hear fire department audio from shortly after the accident]
[SEE IT: Images from the wreckage of flight 1404]

Passengers on that flight were on their way home or to holiday gatherings and for one woman, her daughter's wedding. While she missed that special day, her family says they're just thankful there will be more to come.

The decorations are still hung at their home in The Woodlands and the dress is back on the hanger. Michael and Stephanie Reed are newlyweds of just hours.

But it was a wedding day that almost didn't happen. On the eve of one of the most important days of her life, Stephanie got a phone call she will never forget.

"Something's wrong with your mom and that's the first thing I heard and my heart just stopped," she said.

As Stephanie made final wedding preparations, her mother, Annette Ludrick, boarded Continental flight 1404 in Denver.

"I was like, 'Oh my gosh. This is really happening'," said Annette.

But a fiery crash would end that flight.

"I just remember a big ball on the right side," she said.

Annette was bruised physically and emotionally and not ready to get back on another plane from Denver. She encouraged her daughter to have the ceremony without her, but it wasn't going to be the exact day Stephanie had dreamed of.

"She's been my mom and my dad, so I wanted her to walk me down the aisle," said Stephanie.

From the vows to the dance floor, someone was certainly missing.

"She was missed," said Michael. "I was supposed to dance with her last night."

But while this couple missed a very special guest on their wedding day, it helps them start their life together with perspective.

"I couldn't believe what I heard, that her mother's plane crashed on the way to our wedding. It really puts all the events prior to that in miniscule, didn't matter," said Michael.

"I'm still here. We're all here," said Annette. "I heard it was very nice. She's happy, so that's what's important."

And there are so many more moments they are thankful she will have the opportunity to share.

"I was sad, disappointed," said Stephanie. "But more than anything, I was grateful."

Annette Ludrick says she will eventually fly again. She just needed time to recover. Her daughter and new son-in-law are emailing her pictures of the wedding day she missed.

      Headline check | 100 most recent local stories | News alerts
            Slideshow archive | ABC13 wireless | Help solve crimes
Copyright © 2024 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.