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Woman with local ties killed in North Carolina plane crash

The granddaughter of a James Creek area couple died in the air crash Wednesday morning in North Carolina. Ironically, the 18-year-old’s older sister flew to her destination three days earlier or she may have been on the commuter flight, also.
Christianna Shepherd, 18, whose home address is Boston, died with 18 other passengers and two crew members when the US Airways Express Flight 5481 crashed and burned in the Charlotte Airport yesterday. Her grandparents, Glenn and Linda Houp watched the CNN newscast after they received word yesterday afternoon about the tragedy. Linda repeated to The Daily News what she saw on TV, the pictures of the plane burning near the hangar it hit and the simulation of the steep climb the plane made and then its sharp descent to the ground just seconds after takeoff.
Christianna was returning to Bob Jones University near Greenville, S.C., where the short flight was heading. This was her first year of studies there. Her older sister, Amanda, is also a student at Bob Jones. Amanda and Christianna spent the Christmas holiday with their parents and three siblings in the Azores Islands, off the coast of Portugal, where the parents serve as missionaries.
“It was the first time in two years the whole family had been together for Christmas,” Linda Houp said. Amanda flew to Atlanta three days earlier to spend time with a friend and then flew to South Carolina. Christianna returned to Boston on her own, then caught a flight to Charlotte and then was seated on the commuter, ready for the 20-minute trip to Greenville.
Christianna’s parents are the Rev. Doug and Tereasa Shepherd. Tereasa attended Huntingdon Area High School and transferred to Tussey Mountain High School when the family moved to Hopewell Township. She graduated from Everett Christian Academy and she and Doug were married in 1980. They are members of the Calvary Independent Baptist Church in Huntingdon and have served as missionaries in the Azores for 17 years. They are also the parents of Juliana, Stephen and Andrew. Christianna was home-schooled before enrolling in the university. She vacationed in the Huntingdon area last year before school started.
“She was a beautiful, wonderful girl,” Linda said. “We will always have pleasant memories of her. It’s a shock, but thankfully she was someone who had accepted the Lord as her Savior.” Mrs. Houp said the family is well known since Rev. Shepherd has “preached all over the area.”
US Air is flying the parents home to Pennsylvania where they will be making funeral arrangements.