Family and friends of Alaskan plane crash survivor say she has a long road of recovery ahead

STERLING, Va. (FOX 5 DC) -- An Alaskan vacation turned tragic for two Sterling women when their small plane crashed, killing one and badly injuring the other.

Altogether, the Alaska Department of Public Safety said four people were aboard the flight. Officials identified the victims as pilot Michael Scott Christy, 73, his wife, Jean Tam, 69, both of Anchorage; and passenger Suzanne Glads, 29, of Sterling.

Joy Cooper, 28, of Sterling survived.

"Immediately for that moment my heart sunk a little bit," Waqas Shaw, a friend of Cooper's, said of learning what happened. "I just had this feeling of hopelessness."

Shah works alongside Cooper at Dulles Airport. He set up a GoFundMe page to help her deal with extensive injuries, including more than 20 broken bones and a fractured vertebra. He also said Cooper is a pilot herself, who's pursuing a master's degree in aviation management.

"I believe if anything like this happened to anyone around her, she would be probably doing the same exact thing," Shah said.

Shaw has also been in touch with Cooper's brother, who said his sister is awake and alert just days after the deadly crash.

"It's definitely a miracle," Shah added. "And I just think because of the way she lived her life, I think that she had some angels watching over her."

You can find Cooper's GoFundMe page here