An Allegiant Air flight took a terrifying turn after it was forced to make a sudden 600 feet climb to avoid a collision with an oncoming private jet.
Jerrica Thacker told Fox News Digital that it was just her second time on a plane when she boarded Allegiant Air Flight 485 to Lexington, Kentucky from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Sunday, July 23.
"My first flight was my way to Fort Lauderdale, so this was my second flight, going back home," she said.
Jerrica Thacker told Fox News Digital that she was "too scared to move." (Jerrica Thacker )
FILE - An Allegiant Air plane lands at Harry Reid International Airport on July 26, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
After they took off, the pilot warned the passengers that they might experience some turbulence due to bad weather up north.
Twenty minutes into the flight Thacker and the rest of the passengers experienced a heart-stopping moment that passengers first thought was bad turbulence - but turned out to be much worse. The Airbus A320 was forced to take "evasive actions" after it almost collided with a private Gulfstream jet.
Thacker said that suddenly, at 23,000 feet in the air, the entire plane suddenly felt like it fell for at least 10 to 20 seconds.
"It honestly felt like a roller coaster, like when you come down from the highest point, and then you take a big hill," Thacker said. "We all suddenly moved up, which to us felt like we moved down."
"And then he had to level the plane back down to the altitude that we were supposed to be at," she added.
Jerrica Thacker and her extended family were returning from a cruise in the Caribbean. (Jerrica Thacker )
It was 21-year-old Jerrica Thacker's second time on a plane when her flight was forced to make a sudden 600 feet climb to avoid a collision with a private jet. (Jerrica Thacker )
During the scary ordeal, Thacker said that her twin sister was crying and the lady next to her was praying.
"I was too scared to move," Thacker said. "I was holding on to the handrails beside me with my head just facing the front of me, trying to avoid a panic attack."
Two flight attendant, who were taking passengers orders and handing out drinks, fell to the ground during the sudden movement, Thacker said.
Moments later, the pilot came over the intercom and told the passengers that the sudden jolt was because their airplane was on track for a nose-on-nose crash with a private jet and the plane needed to return to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, since one of the flight attendants got injured.
"Once he came over the intercom, people sort of shut their windows because they were scared to look outside," Thacker said. "And there were two people that stood up to switch seats with this little girl who was crying, so she could go sit with her mom."
Jerrica Thacker and her family on their vacation in the Caribbean before the flight home to Kentucky. (Jerrica Thacker )
Thacker told Fox News Digital that they still had 20 minutes before they landed back in Florida, saying she was "beyond stressed."
"I was already stressed out but knowing that we still had 20 minutes before landing made it 20 times worse," she said.
After they safely landed, Thatcher said that a flight attendant told her sister's boyfriend, Jordan, that the pilots quick actions saved them.
"She told him that if we had a less experienced pilot we would have been dead," Thacker said.
Allegiant Airlines told the passengers that they will receive a $200 or $300 voucher, but Thacker said that she never wants to fly again after her experience.
"It will go to waste unless my parent's want to use it," Thacker said.
Following the near-disaster, Thacker and her extended family decided to rent a car to make the 14-hour drive back home to Kentucky.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed the incident to Fox News Digital saying the Airbus A320 "took evasive action" after the pilot received an alert about another aircraft at the same altitude.
"Allegiant Air Flight 485, an Airbus A320, took evasive action on Sunday, July 23, after the pilot received an automated alert about another aircraft at the same altitude," the FAA said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "An air traffic controller in the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center had instructed Flight 485 to turn eastbound at an altitude of 23,000 feet when it crossed in front of a northbound Gulfstream business jet."
The FAA said that the pilot of the Gulfstream also took evasive action after receiving an alert from air traffic control.
The FAA said the incident is under investigation. Allegiant Air deferred to the FAA for additional information.