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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 ajc.com, 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 ear buds 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