Maryland Wrong Death Lawsuit in 2008 Medevac Crash Blames FAA for Traffic Control Negligence

17-year-old Ashley Younger’s mom is seeking Maryland wrongful death damages from the Federal Aviation Administration. Younger was one of four people that died in the September 27, 2008 medevac helicopter crash in District Heights. At the time of the Prince George’s County aviation accident, Younger and Jordan Wells, 20, were being transported by medevac for treatment of injuries they sustained in a car crash. Wells, who survived with serious injuries and had to have her right leg amputated, filed her $50 million Maryland personal injury lawsuit against the FAA last year.

In her Prince George’s County wrongful death complaint, Younger’s mother, Stephanie, is claiming that traffic controllers gave the Trooper 2 helicopter’s pilot incorrect and outdated weather information and were negligent when communicating with the medevac chopper’s pilot. She also contends that they were inattentive and unresponsive when he asked for guidance as he got closer to the runway. The helicopter ended up crashing in a wooded area.

Also killed in the accident were state police Pilot Stephen J. Bunker, state police flight paramedic Trooper 1st Class Mickey C. Lippy, and EMT Tonya Mallard. Lippy’s widow is suing for $15 million, while Mallard’s widower wants the FAA to pay $7 million for her Prince George’s County wrongful death.

Following its investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board found that dated weather data and pilot inexperience were among the causes of the deadly aviation accident. Last month, the state of Maryland filed its lawsuit accusing the FAA of traffic controller negligence in the District Heights helicopter accident. The state claims the air traffic controllers at Andrews Air Force Base were not equipped to handle airport surveillance radar requests and the medevac’s pilot was given weather information that was five hours old. The lawsuit also accuses the air traffic controllers of only working during half their shift.

Mother of medevac crash victim sues FAA, The Washington Post, March 1, 2011
Maryland files $4 million lawsuit against FAA over 2008 Medevac crash,, January 14, 2011
Related Web Resources:

Federal Aviation Administration

National Transportation Safety Board

More Blog Posts:
20-Year-Old Survivor of 2008 Maryland Medevac Crash Sues FAA for $50M, Maryland Accident Law Blog, December 16, 2010
Multiple Human Errors Cited in Maryland Aviation Accident Involving Medevac that Crashed, Killing Four, Maryland Accident Law Blog, November 10, 2009
Baltimore Sun’s Review of 26 Deadly Medevac Crashes Indicate that Not All Victims Needed Air Transport, Maryland Accident Law Blog, October 23, 2008

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