CHARLOTTE, N.C. - For Anabel Buchenau, who was born and raised in Germany, the tragedy of Germanwings Flight 92-25 is incredibly personal.
The doomed flight started in Barcelona and was headed to Germany when it crashed.
With loved ones living in both places, Buchenau's family flies that same route several times a year on that very model plane.
“This could have been us. Him, me, my kids, my husband -- any of us,” Bechenau told Channel 9’s Stephanie Coueignoux, “It's this moment of shock and horror.”
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Buchenau said after learning the news, she immediately phoned her father in Spain.
“I just called and said, ‘It's me!’ He said, ‘I was going to call you too!’ He had been watching this on television,” she said.
The 150 people on board, including three Americans, died. Also on the passenger list were 16 German students and two teachers.
As an associate professor of German and Comparative Literature at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Buchenau has flown with her own students overseas.
Buchenau said that thought is overwhelming.
“This is me taking them across the ocean. What if something had happened? I can't even imagine for those families,” she said.
The families are in the thoughts and prayers of everyone in Charlotte's tight-knit German community.
Buchenau said her family has plans to fly that route again in July.
She said she’s preparing them for that emotional journey.