An airline co-pilot, Jim Polehinke was at the controls in 2006 when his jetliner crashed during takeoff from Lexington, Kentucky, killing all 49 others on board. 'She understands that she was involved in an accident. Hitting the ground, the plane started to break apart as it skidded along a road and it was almost immediately engulfed in flames. However, the DC-9 never soared upward. The 25th anniversary of the Michigan crash will be commemorated by victims' families on Thursday at the memorial site close to where the plane went down. Cichan remains protective of her privacy and unsure how much she wants to share her experience with others. Dr Jai Prasad, the doctor who led the team which cared for the four-year-old, said at the time: 'She understands she has lost her father and her mother, and her brother. These work to control speed and angle of take-off. CNN Films' "Sole Survivors" examines four of those stories: The toddler, the "Miracle Girl," the co-pilot and the seeker. Now, exactly 25 years after the … EXCLUSIVE: Four out of 10 young people say they will BREAK Covid lockdown rules this Christmas - more than... Anti-lockdown and Million Mask March protestors clash with police in London over the new coronavirus... 'We've closed all of Cornwall down for three people in hospital': Healthcare assistant who publicly resigned... British Airways suspends ALL flights from Gatwick airport and will furlough 'many more' staff as new Covid... Germany closes in on Britain's daily coronavirus cases with a record 20,000 new infections as WHO warns of a... Justice Secretary Robert Buckland blames the PUBLIC for second lockdown - insisting it is because 'people... Bank of England pumps another £150bn into economy and warns GDP will slump 2 per cent this quarter due to... 'Covid can kiss my back-end, I'm giving my mum the send-off she deserves! Lieutenant Thiede said: 'To see her come down the aisle, my heart, I lost it really. The young woman has decided to tell her story as part of a new documentary called Sole Survivor featuring passengers who lived through plane crashes against all odds. The crash was remarkable for its ferocity even in the physics of air disasters. Sole Survivors tells the story of 13 others who were the only people left alive in deadly plane crashes - none of whom have ever spoken publicly. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the crash was likely caused by crew’s failure to check the slats and flats on the wings. He thinks it would help her to spend time with others who've suffered the same trauma. So what IS essential? Now an adult, Bakari sometimes closes herself off, her father says. So, how did Cecelia Cichan (in Seat 8C) survive? The aircraft then tipped violently to the right, causing the wing to tear through the roof of a car rental building. Toddler Cecelia Cichan, four, survived when all 154 other people on board - including her parents and 6-year-old brother - plus two people on the ground … He desperately wishes to honor that promise. Cecelia Cichan, 29, became known as the 'miracle child' after she was dug out of the burning wreckage by a rescuer who heard her whimper. Health food, stationery and DIY stores stay OPEN - as shoppers buy Christmas... Why the long face? Never forgotten: Cecelia, 29, says she is reminded of the crash every time she looks in the mirror. When I look in the mirror, I have visual scars.'. More than 2,000 presents and 30,000 cards were sent to the University of Michigan Medical Center but her guardians asked that they be distributed to local children's hospitals. ', Looking for answers: Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board examine the black box from Flight 255 which revealed crew had skipped some safety check-ups before take-off, Tragedy: This week marks the 25th anniversary of Northwest Airlines flight 255 which crashed shortly after take-off on August 16, 1987, Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy. As soon as the plane lifted from the runway, it began to roll from side-to-side and struck a lighting pole. A lack of electrical power was also cited that failed to trigger the warning system that the plane was not properly configured for take-off. Just to see her in person was something.'. 'But she doesn't have any memory of how it happened.'. Her uncle Franklin Lumpkin and her aunt Rita, her mother's sister, kept her sheltered from the attention once she left hospital after seven weeks of treatment, allowing her to grow up in obscurity in Birmingham, Alabama. He recently attended her wedding. Twenty-seven years ago today, the Northwest Airlines flight 255 crashed on take-off in Detroit, killing 154 people on board; the sole survivor was a four-year-old girl. She has a tattoo on her wrist in memory, Rescuer: Firefighter John Thiede, pictured at the memorial for Flight 255, pulled four-year-old Cecelia from the burning wreckage. Cecelia suffered horrific injuries including a fractured skull, broken leg and collarbone and third-degree burns. The comments below have not been moderated. Destruction: A member of the investigations team working on the crash of Northwest Airlines flight 255 looks inside the cockpit two days after the tragedy, Devastating loss: Cecelia was just four when her father Michael, mother Paula and six-year-old brother David were killed in the air disaster, Disaster: The plane, bound for Phoenix, Arizona, crashed shortly after take-off at 8.46pm near Detroit killing everyone but one child on board. The death toll of 156 included two people in cars. Cecelia has kept in touch with the families of those who died in the 1987 crash - including her rescuer Lieutenant Thiede. Bahia was hospitalized after rescuers found her floating on plane wreckage without a life vest. She underwent four skin grafts for the burns on her arms and legs. But they still cope with confusion, guilt and the complicated emotional aftermath of what it means to be a sole survivor. (CNN) â It's a terrifying, life-changing experience that few of us can fully understand: survival of a large plane crash.