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Memorial dedicated for 1996 Oroville spy plane crash

Published On: Nov 22 2013 09:05:40 PM CST
Memorial dedicated for 1996 Oroville spy plane crash
OROVILLE, Calif. -

A memorial was dedicated Friday to remember two people killed in a military plane crash in Oroville 17 years ago.

Captain Randy Roby was killed August 7, 1996 when the U2 spy plane he was piloting failed over Oroville.

Jerri Vering, of Oroville, was also killed when the wreckage of the plane hit her as she exited the office of the Oroville Mirror newspaper.

Members of the military, firefighters and others gathered together Friday afternoon for the dedication of a memorial at CAL FIRE headquarters on Nelson Avenue in Oroville.

Roby's family was there, including a son who was an infant at the time and another who was yet to be born.

"It feels really great," says Matthew Roby, who was a baby when his father died. "Not ever having known my father, it's a testament to his character anyway and it helps me understand who he really was."

"I like to see how much it's really appreciated, what he did for the country and what he did for Oroville," says Randy Roby, the son his mother was pregnant with when his father died.

Capt. Roby's father, Dave, says he still misses his son every day but memorials like this show what he meant to the community and that his memory lives on.

"It's a great feeling to know you had a son that is appreciated that much," says Dave Roby.

Witnesses of the crash and members of the public took pictures of the new memorial.

One woman said it sounded like a train wreck when it happened.