Knox County, ME has reached a settlement with the families of three men killed in an aviation accident at the Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head last November.
The four-seat Cessna 172 departed from the airport and hit a pickup truck crossing the runway during takeoff. The airplane caught fire and crashed into the woods, killing two University of Maine students and an alumnus that were all members of the same fraternity, according to ABC News.
The truck was driven by Stephen Turner, a pilot, who was authorized to be on the airport grounds, airport manager Jeff Northgraves told ABC News.
Turner had issued the proper warnings to local traffic before crossing the runway at the uncontrolled field.
The National Transportation and Safety Board cleared Turner of any wrongdoing.
The victim’s families will receive $3.95 million. KnoxCounty is paying $15,000. The remainder is being paid by insurance companies representing Penobscot Island Air, ANG Flying Club and Turner.
Plane Crash or Accident Causes
Air travel is considered one of the safest modes of transportation, but it does carry inherent risks. Most people don’t realize the frequency with which aviation accidents of all kinds occur.
The National Transportation Safety Board reports U.S. civil aviation accidents totaled 1,539 in 2012. Of these accidents, 271 involved fatalities, with a total of 432 people killed.
There can be many causes for a plane crash or accident, including:
- Pilot error
- Mechanical failure
- Defective aircraft design or manufacture
- Air traffic controller error
- Severe weather conditions
No matter the cause, aviation accidents can result in grievous personal injury or death, even when minor. Airline accidents can cause monumental damage and leave people in emotional and financial distress.
How to Get Help Following an Aviation Accident
People involved in commercial airline crashes and small plane and helicopter accidents face expensive medical bills, work loss, emotional suffering, financial hardship, and more. Victims and their families cannot rely on airline insurance companies to offer a fair compensation.
Determining liability in an aviation accident is complicated. The liable parties might include the aircraft’s owner or operator, manufacturers or maintenance suppliers, or even the federal government, depending on the accident cause.
Federal and state laws and regulations, along with product liability and insurance coverage questions, mean an aircraft accident case requires a detailed analysis by a legal team experienced working with:
- The National Transportation Safety Board
- The Federal Aviation Administration
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation
- The Red Cross
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency
- State and local agencies involved in investigating airline crashes
Never accept a settlement from an airline insurance company without first speaking to an experienced aviation accident expert.