THE BLOG
07/31/2013 11:10 am ET Updated Sep 30, 2013

Other Victims of the Asiana Crash

When we hear about airplane crashes we can't help but think of all of the victims -- of course the injured, both those who died and the other passengers who were injured, but also the friends and families of those passengers. Well, the crash on July 8 this month of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at the San Francisco International Airport after the airliner collided with a rocky seawall just short of the runway is no different. The three girls who died were classmates from China, close friends who were here to spend a few weeks at a summer camp in California -- they were top students here to practice English to improve their chances of attending a U.S. college. There were numerous others who were critically injured during the crash and laid on the tarmac waiting for emergency help -- it is so tragic and sad.

But, what is overlooked in the pictures and heartbreaking stories of this crash and these passengers -- just one of the stories behind the headlines -- probably something you just wouldn't consider or think about, is how the crash affected all of those other passengers aboard the planes that couldn't land in San Francisco that day or in the couple following days until the debris was cleared. The passengers whose planes got diverted to another airport because of the crash are victims too, some more than others.

Okay, maybe not such a big deal -- just an inconvenience for the most part. But, to make it worse and more tragic was what happened when a United Airlines employee and his wife decided to take advantage of the chaos created by the crash. While these passengers were diverted their luggage was not. And when they went to pick it up it was missing.

A couple is being charged with grand theft and burglary for allegedly stealing the luggage of these passengers. A surveillance video captured United customer service representative Sean Sharif Crudup, 44 stealing the bags and handing them off to his wife, Raychas Elizabeth Thomas, 32, and another woman, authorities said. They were arrested as Thomas was catching a flight to Hawaii.

Some of the property stolen from the victims was found at the Richmond home of the United employee. Among the items stolen were valuable clothing -- some of which Thomas, posing as the person who bought them had returned to the Nordstrom at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton for about $5,000.

Crudup pleaded not guilty to charges of grand theft and burglary and is being held at San Mateo County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail. Thomas posted $50,000 bail.