Wife of Flight 3407 victim takes the stand

Karen Wielinski's lawyers are trying to show the jury how much her husband invested in collecting memorabilia and how much they lost when Flight 3407 crashed into their home

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Karen Wielinski, who lost her husband Doug when Flight 3407 crashed into their Clarence home in 2009, spent all day on the stand Friday.

Her lawyers are trying to show the jury how much her husband invested in collecting memorabilia and how much they lost when their home was destroyed in the plane crash. Wielinski tried to explain how much her husband loved collecting. She said on the stand, “He was like a walking encyclopedia of sports and collectibles.”

Colgan Airlines, which owned and operated Flight 3407, argued most of Doug’s collection was already sold off before it was destroyed.  Wielinski disagrees and testified that her husband had much more stored in their family home.

In the years before the crash, Dough sold part of his collection for a total of $360,000. Stephen Phillips, owner of The Lodge Auction House in West Seneca, said that is a huge amount.

“That’s amazing! That’s wonderful for him and his family. Eighteen times the usual auction,” said Phillips.

This year, the most Phillips has sold at one of his auctions is $100,000.

Phillips said, “Bottom line: finding it and keeping it in good condition, and the value of the auction at $360,000, he must have some pieces in esteem condition.”

According to Wielinski, the auction of her husband’s memorabilia consisted of items with no sentimental value and duplicates of baseball cards he already had. Wielinski also testified her husband wouldn’t sell the most prized items in his collection unless the family needed money.

Her lawyers are trying to show the jury the value of the items stored in the Wielinski home the day Flight 3407 destroyed it all.

Wielinski is expected to take the stand again Monday.

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