[Jan.17, 2008] A Navy helicopter on a training mission went down in a fiery crash near an 971-foot tall antenna tower, killing three crew members and critically injuring a fourth, a Navy spokesman said today. Investigators were examining the wreckage today, including a large piece that could be seen at the base of the tower. Authorities would not say whether the helicopter, an MH-53 Sea Dragon, hit the tower in the crash Wednesday night.
A radio station reported its sister television station was knocked off the air because of damage to the tower.The injured crew member was taken to a hospital, where he was in critical condition, said Ed Mickey, a spokesman for the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command.
The helicopter was part of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 out of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Mickey said. It went down Wednesday night in a farmer’s field about 4 miles south of Corpus Christi, he said.
Texas Trial Lawyer, David P. Willis of the Willis Law Firm along with Attorney, Nelson J. Roach of the Nix Patterson & Roach representing three families have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the television tower owners as a result no lights on the TV transmission tower resulting in seven deaths, when the military helicopter hit one of the cables early one foggy morning and crashed in November 2005 outside Waco, Texas.
WACO, Texas — Relatives of three soldiers killed in an Army helicopter crash sued the owners and operators of a television tower, claiming broken warning lights on the tower created a hazard.
Seven soldiers from Fort Hood died in November 2004 when their helicopter plummeted to the ground on a foggy morning after apparently striking cables supporting a TV transmission tower near Waco, Texas The tower’s warning lights were knocked out in a storm the week before and were not operating and were in need of repair.The helicopter crash lawsuit alleged that failure to adequately and promptly maintain the lights created “a dangerous hazard to nearby aircraft, including the helicopter in which plaintiffs were passengers,” it said.
Those named in the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in state district court in McLennan County, include Centex Television Limited Partnership, which owns KXXV-TV in Waco.A television station official declined to comment. Representatives who answered the phone at Centex said the company had no comment.Army investigators said last year that the fatal crash was caused by the pilots’ attempt to fly under visual flight rules in poor weather conditions.
The lawsuit was filed by family members of Chief Warrant Officer 2 David H. Gardner Jr., 32, of Mason City, Iowa, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mark W. Evans Jr., 27, of Jacksonville, Fla., who were the Black Hawk’s pilots; and Capt. Todd T. Christmas, 26, of Wagon Mound, N.M.. Others killed include Chief Warrant Officer Doug Clapp, Colonel James Moore, and Brigadier General Charles B. Allen.
For more information about the lawsuit that was filed on September 8, 2006 in Waco, Texas call attorney David Willis at 1-800-883-9858