CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (News10)-Every December brings back hard memories for Rick Hartunian. On Dec. 21, 1988, his sister Lynne was a passenger on Pan Am flight 103 when a bomb went off over Lockerbie, Scotland. All passengers onboard, including 11 people on the ground were killed- a total of 270 fatalities. News10’s Anya Tucker spoke with him as he reacted to the news of the accused bomber’s arrest.
“Well, it certainly has been a long time in coming,” Hartunian told Anya. “And having been in law-enforcement for many years, I can understand it maybe better than some people, how difficult it is.” The former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York prosecuted many notorious cases himself, but back in 1988, he was 27 and grieving the loss of his sister. Lynne Hartunian was like many of the mostly young passengers onboard flight 103 on its way from London to New York. She was a college student embarking on new adventures and a bright future. “I hear even three decades later from people who knew her,” said Hartunian. “And it stops me in my tracks frequently. It just kind of reminds me of what kind of person she was.”
Billy Eggleston says he recalls his big brother Edgar in much the same way. “I would’ve loved to see the person he would become,” said Eggleston. In 1988, Sgt. Edgar Eggleston of Glens Falls, New York was stationed in Germany. Taking the flight had been a last-minute option in his effort to rush home to see his sick mother before she died of cancer. “I know for every family it was horrible, what happened. But for our family, it’s just a little more intense, because mom died the next day. The scene in that hospital was not pretty that night.”
He says he feels justice was largely denied to the victims and their families when one of the suspects was acquitted and another who sentenced to life in prison was released on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. But he says this new arrested brings renewed hope. As for Hartunian he and other loved ones turned their pain into progress, continually pushing for more stringent airline security, as one way to honor the 270 people lost.