The extended family of Ron Lewis waits near the telephone for any word about the condition of the American Fork native who survived the wreck of a commuter airplane in North Carolina Tuesday.

Lewis' father, Ken, and his three brothers, Bob, Mark and Vaughn, flew to Raleigh as soon as they learned their son and brother had been aboard American Eagle Flight 3379.The Jetstream Super 31 was en route to Chicago from Greensboro, N.C., when it smashed into the ground in fog and drizzle 31/2 miles from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Fifteen of the plane's 20 passengers died.

The four Lewis men provide daily updates from Ron's hospital bedside to their families in Utah. They toured the crash site Friday.

"He calls me twice a day, in the morning and the evening," Vaughn Lewis' wife, Bonnie, said.

Ron Lewis, 35, was in serious but stable condition Friday at Wake Medical Center's intensive-care unit, said hospital spokeswoman Liz McRoberts.

He's recovering from surgery to reattach his crushed foot at the ankle. He also has a collapsed right lung, bruised left lung, broken ribs and lacerated liver.

Although conscious throughout the ordeal, Ron Lewis can now only nod his head to communicate or occasionally write a brief note.

For that, his wife, Diane, is grateful.

"This is our little miracle," she told dozens of reporters at the hospital Wednesday. "I have a husband for Christmas, and I have a father who is going to be there for my kids."

She has declined interviews - at least through the weekend.

Ron and Diane Lewis and their four children moved to Crystal Park, Ill., in July when Ron was transferred from the Sears Teleservice Center in Provo to the company's Chicago headquarters. He was returning home from a business trip when the plane smashed into the ground, ripping the fuselage in half.

The Lewises in Utah - Ken of Pleasant Grove; Vaughn and Bob, both of American Fork; and Mark of Richfield - first heard Tuesday from Diane Lewis that Ron was on the doomed aircraft. They spent the rest of the night trying to find out whether he had survived. Calls to the airlines were fruitless.

"We knew that there were survivors, but we couldn't get any names," said Bonnie Lewis.

Bob Lewis decided to search the Associated Press news wire on CompuServe for answers. They found the names of two survivors and an unidentified 35-year-old man who were taken to Wake Medical Center in Raleigh.

"Bobby, how old are you?" Bonnie Lewis asked Ron's twin brother. "That's got to be Ron."

The family then called the hospital where a nurse confirmed Ron was alive.

"We were elated, to say the least. I've never had such a feeling," Bonnie Lewis said.

Ron Lewis wasn't supposed to be on Flight 3379.

A Sears service manager, Ron travels frequently. He and co-worker Bill Peters, 30, who died in the crash, were returning to Chicago after setting up service contracts with local repair companies for Sears products in North Carolina.

But their flight home was overbooked Tuesday, so they agreed to take another connection - starting with Flight 3379, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.

Peters of Woodstock, Ill., was known to many Sears employees in Provo. He dealt with them by telephone on a daily basis.