The family of one of five people, who were killed in a two single-engine plane crash over Corona a year ago, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the estates of the pilots of the two airplanes who were also killed in that crash. According to this news report in The Orange County Register, Scott Lawrence of Cerritos was a passenger in a four-seat Cessna 172. The lawsuit was filed by Lawrence’s former wife, Sarah Lawrence, his son Bradford and daughter Brianna Moeller.
The Cessna 172 was piloted by 73-year-old Paul Carlson and the Cessna 150 by 24-year-old Brandon William Johnson of Costa Mesa. Also killed in this tragic crash were Anthony Joel Guzman, 20, of Yorba Linda and Earl Smiddy of Moreno Valley, who was killed when he was sitting at his desk at the Corona Chevrolet dealership when falling debris from the aircraft fell through the building’s roof. The suit also names William Reinke, a veteran flight instructor from La Habra, who rented the Cessna 172 to Carlson and Mike Branigan, general manager of the Corona Flight Academy who owns the Cessna 150.
Witness reports state that one plane was headed east while the other was going north when the planes collided mid-air. Neither pilot appeared to take any action to avoid the catastrophic collision, eyewitnesses told officials. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating this crash, has not yet determined who was at fault.
Riverside wrongful death lawsuits are usually filed when families of deceased victims believe or have reason to believe that the death of their loved ones was caused because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence. There are many issues which the NTSB is investigating in this case and a lot of questions are apparently still unanswered. But the victim’s family in this case is doing the right thing by filing this wrongful death lawsuit because for them, it is a way of getting the facts. Scott Lawrence’s family deserves to know who or what caused that tragic crash that killed him.
Our firm has filed numerous California wrongful death lawsuits over the last three decades on behalf of victims’ families. Such a course of action does have a way of bringing the truth out. I wish the Lawrence family the very best with their pursuit of the truth and hope they get the answers they are looking for and the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve.