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Tuesday, May 7, 2002



State accused in lawsuit
over fatal Molokai crash

The suit says a lack of oversight
led to the air crash that killed 6


Star-Bulletin staff

A Wisconsin insurance company has listed the State of Hawaii as a defendant in a federal lawsuit over a fatal plane crash two years ago on Molokai.

The Employers Insurance of Wausau claims that the state Department of Transportation's lack of oversight of the Molokai Airport at Kaunakakai contributed to the May 10, 2000, crash that killed six people.

A North American Rockwell Sabreliner 65 jet was traveling to Molokai from Maui when it crashed into a mountain slope in Kaana.

The plaintiff claims that because of negligence, dangerous conditions of the area and a failure to warn the pilot or passengers, it has or will be forced to pay "substantial worker's compensation benefits" to the family members of the aircraft's co-pilot, Jason Miller.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu, described Miller as a 28-year-old Kansas man who was an employee of Executive Aircraft Corp., which the plaintiff serves as its "worker's compensation carrier."

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board released two years ago said the pilot of the plane had stopped flying by instruments and started flying by sight shortly before the crash.

Other defendants named in the lawsuit include the Price Aircraft Co. LLC of Colorado, representatives of pilot Bill Marr and the U.S. government, as the employer of air traffic controllers.



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