Saturday night was another modern day example of phone, social media and old-fashioned neighborhood gawking to spread news, after the Gulfstream jet raced past the end of the runway, plunged down an embankment and erupted in flames. 

Neighbor Sandy Foster said she heard two enormous booms and her husband ran outside to investigate.

“My husband came back choking. I mean, he walked over to Fayette and he said it was pretty strong down there.”

So Foster picked up the phone to call 9-1-1. Foster didn’t know what was going on either, so she turned to Facebook.

“I immediately posted that there was a horrific house fire and then I started hearing that it was a plane crash from the teenagers that were in the neighborhood, actually. My grandchildren were all outside and they’re the ones that came running down and said it was a plane crash.”

Many neighbors who weren’t outside were online, Foster said. As they waited for police and fire trucks to arrive they were posting, wondering whether to evacuate, in case the fire spread.

“The whole neighborhood was on there at that point. We were all like checking in with each other. Everybody was on there trying to get any news because we didn’t know," Foster said. "I was pretty certain there were no survivors. But we all really wanted to hear better news.”

Eventually police and fire officials assured residents that they were safe, and the fire was put out. It was a long weekend of questions and answers, and the curiosity hasn’t ended. Will the water supply be affected? Who were the flight crew members? Now, Foster says she’s just as hooked on social media as she is to the news. Things don’t feel the same quite yet.

“And I don’t really feel like they’re back to normal. I’ve had my TV on all day just in case there’s any tidbits of news.”

Foster’s experience continues the debate over the pros and cons of both traditional and social media. There’s constant demand for both resources – be it the real-time and viral sensation of social media or the tradition and predictability of news outlets