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Merrillville, Ind (OCT. 30, 2014)--Friday marks 20 years since American Eagle flight 4184 crashed in Roselawn, Ind, killing all 68 people on-board.
"My father Tom Wright was a passenger on flight 4184," said Rev. Brent Wright.
Rev.Wright lives in Indianapolis, and he had dreams of one day becoming a pilot, but that all changed on Halloween 1994.
"A loss this large affects every aspect of life," said Rev. Wright.
His father was one of the 64 passengers killed. Four crew members also lost their lives on flight 4184.
The plane left from Indianapolis and was scheduled to land in Chicago. However, the pilot hit heavy ice, and the plane crashed in a soybean field near Roselawn, Ind.
"Pilot training has increased because of this accident," said Greg Feith, a former NTSB investigator and the investigator in charge of flight 4184.
Feith says aviation is safer since the American Eagle tragedy.
"We have a better understanding. We have given pilots cues on when to recognize icing conditions when flying.
Thursday, the families who lost loved ones on the flight came together in Merrillville, Ind to be with those who have grieved through the same tragedy- still connected 20 years later.
"When we come together it is very special to sit across from somebody who shared the same experience," said Jennifer Stansberry Miller, who lost her brother in the crash.
Friday the families will travel to the crash site in Roselawn, Ind, where a road side memorial will be unveiled for the first time during a private ceremony.
"It was an amazing process, three years in the making," said Stansberry Miller.
Stansberry Miller was instrumental in organizing and raising funds for the memorial. All 68 names are etched in stone. She was also vocal in bringing major changes to the way the NTSB repsonds to crashes.
"That very difficult time that they experienced 20 years ago doesn't happen anymore and it's really their hard work that led to those changes to make sure families are being taken care of effectively," said Paul Sledzik, director, transportation disaster assistance at the National Transportation Safety Board.
Sledzik's position was created in part due to the work of the families of flight 4184.
"In the face of tragedy we have had something positive evolve over time," said Stansberry Miller.