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He Never Saw it Coming: Airplane Kills Jogger on the Beach

August 4, 2011
Colson Hicks Eidson

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) attributes a freak accident that took a Georgia man’s life to an airplane’s damaged crankshaft. The damaged part caused the pilot to make an emergency landing on Hilton Head Island last year and land on top of a man jogging on the beach.

In a story at, a previous propeller strike damaged the plane’s crankshaft. According to the NTSB, the plane’s records do not show any entries about a propeller strike. While in flight, the pilot made the beach landing with a dead motor, which is difficult to hear. Adding to the unfortunate circumstances was the fact that the victim had iPod earbuds in his ears.

The man’s widow has since filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit in South Carolina. She claims the pilot and four companies failed to properly test the plane and its parts.

The odds of a fatal accident like this seem like one in a million. From the small airplane, one wonders how difficult or easy it was for the pilot to see the victim on the beach. It illustrates how one faulty part on even a small aircraft can have catastrophic consequences. We will keep you posted as the widow’s lawsuit unfolds.

Colson Hicks Eidson – Florida injury attorneys