SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA.com) — A Santa Barbara man who survived the 1985 Delta Flight 191 crash at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has opened up about his experience in the wake of the accident in San Francisco.READ MORE: Driver Tries To Run Over Beverly Hills Officer, Sparking Pursuit; One Arrested
On Aug. 2, 1985, Richard Laver was 12 years old when his flight crashed in a thunderstorm during its approach to Dallas/Fort Worth.
“I still live with nightmares. My wife still has to wake me up in the middle of the night,” he said.
Laver wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was thrown about 100 yards from the wreckage.
“That’s what saved my life. Everyone died that had their seatbelts on in the explosion, and I had mine off, and I flew out of the plane,” he said.
Laver was found in a mud puddle, which cushioned his fall. His father, Ian, who was sitting in the next seat, died. Ian Laver was the first cousin of tennis legend Rod Laver.READ MORE: E.G. Daily On 'Rugrat's New Holiday Special "Traditions": 'We Embrace Everyone And Everything'
Richard Laver tried to go pro in the family business, but couldn’t compete on the tour because he developed a fear of flying.
Three years ago, Laver launched a new company that makes meal replacement shakes, which was inspired by his daughter, Kate, who’s battling cerebral palsy.
Kate also helped him get over something he’d been battling for a very long time.
“I kinda gave up my fear for flying. I literally fly every week and I have no trepidations,” he said.
As a businessman, Laver advised the families of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 to get a good lawyer.MORE NEWS: Angels Reportedly Re-Sign Closer Raisel Iglesias To Four-Year Deal
“It is them against the airlines. I’ll tell you that right now. They will do anything to preserve capital. Of course, it’s business,” said Laver.