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Passengers Injured in Helicopter Crash Bring Civil Suit Against Skagit County Port Commissioner

The scene immediately following the crash and extrication of passengers from the wreckage.

Skagit County, WA – Christopher Neibauer, Hannah Neibauer and Ashley Walker have filed a Lawsuit in Skagit County Superior Court related to injuries sustained in a helicopter crash on August 20, 2019, which occurred near Cypress Island, Washington.  Jonathan Yousling of GLP Attorneys represents the plaintiffs. The crash happened during an aerial photoshoot arranged by a local boat manufacturer. The boat manufacturer contracted with Mr. Kevin E. Ware, Skagit County Port Commissioner and owner of Peregrine Air, LLC, to provide helicopter flight services for the aerial photo shoot. The boat manufacturer also contracted with Christopher Neibauer, a photographer, to provide aerial photography services during the flight.

The helicopter circling the catamaran, moments before striking the tree branch

According to court documents, on the morning of August 20, 2019, pilot Mr. Ware requested that the boat manufacturer provide an employee volunteer willing to sit in the front seat of the helicopter to help with weight distribution. Ashley Walker, an employee of the boat manufacturer, took the opportunity to ride in a helicopter.

The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Ware negligently operated the helicopter and failed to provide his passengers and business associates with important pre-departure safety information. Near the end of the flight, and while circling over a catamaran, Mr. Ware piloted the helicopter in such a way that its rotors struck a tree branch, causing the helicopter to crash into the water. Immediately after the crash, Ms. Walker took action to help Mr. Ware and Mr. Neibauer escape the wreckage. Ms. Walker and Mr. Neibauer sustained severe injuries and economic losses.

The scene immediately following the crash and extrication of passengers from the wreckage.

Defendants Mr. Ware and Peregrine Air have filed an answer in response to the lawsuit. They claim, as a defense, that the plaintiffs’ injuries and damages were caused by the fault of passenger Ms. Walker:  “The Plaintiff’s Injuries and damages were proximately caused by the fault of Ashley Walker.” 

By bringing this lawsuit against Defendants Mr. Ware, the pilot in command of the flight, and Peregrine Air, the plaintiffs are seeking to recover for the injuries they suffered as a result of the crash. They also hope to find some closure after this traumatic event, which they claim could have been easily prevented with proper and safe piloting.

The helicopter circling the catamaran, moments before striking the tree branch

GLP Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with attorneys and staffed offices throughout Washington State, including in Burlington, Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Port Orchard, Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Wenatchee, and Vancouver. GLP Attorneys is dedicated to the effective representation of individuals and families affected by a wrongful death and personal injury. More information can be found at www.glpattorneys.com.

The Entire  Complaint Can Be Read By Clicking Here

 

Reference: Skagit County Superior Court Records 20-2-00772-29

Press Release 2/10/2021 Neibauer v. Peregrine Air LLC

 

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