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Wed, Feb 18, 2009

Lawsuit Filed In August '08 C172 Downing

Plane Impacted Vacation Home On Oregon Coast

Relatives of the victims of the August 2008 downing of a Cessna 172 near Gearhart, OR have filed suit against the estate of the plane's pilot, the pilot's employer, and the owners of the rental home the plane crashed into.

As ANN reported, the rented Skyhawk impacted a vacation home in the small coastal community early in the morning of August 4. Both the pilot and passenger onboard the aircraft were killed, as were three children inside the home. Three more people on the ground were seriously injured.

In its Preliminary Report, the NTSB notes that dense, low-hanging fog was reported near the accident site, with a thick overcast layer at 300 feet. Though the plane's pilot, Jason Ketcheson, was instrument rated, no IFR flight plan had been filed.

The Oregonian newspaper reports the lawsuit cites a preliminary FAA toxicology report showing Ketcheson was flying under the influence of the prescription drug Ambien. The suit asserts the pilot was negligent in operating a motor vehicle while taking the powerful prescription sleep aid.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for the death of 10-year-old Julia Reimann, and severe injuries suffered by her mother, brother and sister. The Reimanns had just arrived at the rental home for the start of a two-week vacation with their extended family at the coastal community.

The suit also alleges the owners of the rental home, Greg and Nancy Marshall, failed "to ensure that all bedroom and second floor windows opened." The three children killed in the accident -- Julia Reimann, and her cousins Hesam Farrar Masoudi and Grace Masoudi -- were in the upstairs room when the plane crashed into the home.

FMI: Read The NTSB Preliminary Report

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