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California helicopter collision investigation

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2023 | Wrongful Death |

Firefighters and state officials were onboard two helicopters that were responding to a building on fire in Riverside County. It is still not clear what caused the two aircraft to collide. Investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration could take two years or more.  

One of the helicopters landed safely. The other crashed, resulting in three deaths. The pilot was killed along with two California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection workers. A spokesperson for the NTSB indicated that a preliminary report can be expected to be published in approximately 15 days.  

Investigators will scrutinize crash details 

Every piece of wreckage and debris is being documented before the fractured aircraft is transported to a secure location where it will be a central focus of investigation in the coming months. Investigators will comb over the wreckage, as well as interview those who survived in the other helicopter, in addition to witnesses and state officials. An aviation specialist who reviewed the incident just after it happened said it is likely that someone “screwed up big time” because it is not typical for two helicopters to be so close to one another when fighting a fire.  

Losing a loved one in the line of duty is devastating. It is especially difficult for California families who learn that their loved ones’ deaths were preventable and caused by negligence. In such cases, families often go on to file wrongful death claims on behalf of their deceased loved ones, which state law allows immediate family members to do if another party’s negligent or reckless behavior caused a loved one’s death.