10 years later, ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ survivor talks about life changing moments


10 years to the day, “Miracle on the Hudson” survivor Dave Sanderson gave a riveting speech about life changing moments at The Waterside Restaurant in North Bergen. 

“All of a sudden, I look up at the back of the room, there was this elderly lady locking eyes with me – staring me down … grabs my arm really tight, looked me in the eye and said something that not only changed that day for me, changed the entire direction of my life,” Sanderson said in front of a crowd of about 100 people.

“She looked me in the eye and said ‘I was questioning that there really is a God. I don’t believe in miracles. But you – you – you’re physical evidence that there is a God. And he does miracles. Thank you. Thank you.'”

Sanderson, named one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers in 2018 by Inc.com, spoke for about a half hour detailing the continuing impact the Miracle on the Hudson landing had on his life.

On January 15th, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 crashed into the Hudson River after striking a flock of geese. Despite landing in the water, all 150 passengers, as well as the crew, survived.

Again recalling a Sunday session at his church in North Carolina, Sanderson reflected on the importance of that day not only for his life, but for everyone whose life was touched by the incident.

“January 15th, 2009 has now impacted somebody. Before she goes to that great beyond, wherever that may be, now believes that there is a God who does miracles because I am physical evidence,” he reiterated.

“So when Nikki [Mederos] invited me to be here several months ago, on this very special night, there’s no doubt that I’m supposed to spend my night with you here – because I don’t know who I’m gonna impact.”

Also commenting on “one team, one goal and one miracle,” Sanderson showered the pilot, crew, New York Waterway, Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Center, and all the first responders involved with praise on a job well done.

The event was hosted in a joint effort between Waterside, the Jersey City Rotary and HMHPC.

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