Pilots' Estates, Aircraft Owners Among Defendants
The economic slowdown doesn't appear
to be affecting the litigation industry.
The mid-air collision of two single-engine Cessna aircraft over
Corona, CA on January 20 of last year resulted in the deaths of all
four people in the two planes, and one on the ground. The Orange
County Register reports a lawsuit has now been filed by the former
wife of one of the victims, targeting not only the estates of both
dead pilots, but the parties who rented both aircraft to the
The National Transportation Safety Board has issued only a
preliminary, factual report so far. In it, the board says a Cessna
172 and a Cessna 150 were both approaching runway 25 at the
uncontrolled Corona Municipal Airport just after 3:30 pm local
The location of the collision was consistent with the Cessna's
entering the left pattern while the 150 was established on the
downwind leg. Based on reports from dozens of witnesses, it sounds
as if neither pilot took evasive action, suggesting they never saw
each other converging.
As ANN reported, two private pilots were
killed in the 150. A pilot and a passenger died in the 172. An
employee of Corona Chevrolet was sitting at his desk at the
dealership when the 150's cockpit, firewall and engine crashed
through the roof, injuring him fatally.
The passenger in the 172 was 55-year-old Scott Lawrence of
Cerritos, CA. The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior
Court on Friday by his former wife, Sarah Lawrence, his son,
Bradford, and daughter, Briana Moeller.
Named in the suit are the estates of both pilots, along with
William Reinke, a CFI who rented the 172, and Mike Branigan,
general manager of the Corona Flight Academy, which owned the
There was no immediate report on the compensation being sought.
The NTSB's probable cause report, which is expected to be released
soon, will not be admissible as evidence if the suit goes to