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Victim of Seaplane Crash in Sacramento Dies From Brain Injury

Posted on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 at 1:10 pm    

seaplane that crashed into the American River

Photo via CBS Sacramento

A small seaplane driven by pilot Keith Hezmalhalch crash-landed into the American River in Sacramento tragically killing her passenger.

Marshall was left submerged in the river for an unknown period of time. The crash was due to the wheels that were down for the planned water landing.

Pilot Recounts the Dreadful Moments

The pilot said that he his self-inflated life vest didn’t save him, but instead, it trapped him and pushed him into the back of the plane. He remembers holding his breath and fearing that he might drown.

Fortunately, he was able to come up and break into the surface of the water. He dove down again to free his passenger who was unconscious and still strapped into her seat. It was on his fourth dive that he was finally able to free Marshall.

He performed CPR until first-responders arrived at the scene.

Marshall Fought For Her Life

Marshall’s daughter stayed with her in the hospital the entire time. In fact, a GoFundMe page was even set up to help the family with their financial needs. Currently, they have accumulated over $6,000 of their $25,000 goal.

She was very hopeful to see her mother awake again. Sadly, on January 17, Marshall passed away. Her daughter posted a message on the dedicated Facebook page for Marshall. She revealed that her mother suffered from brain injury upon impact.

Doubtful of Flying Again

The pilot has been flying for two decades and he has landed his seaplane in Sacramento waterways several times. However, after the incident, he isn’t sure if he will ever fly again.

I feel a sense of failure, a sense of guilt, over not being the kind of pilot that we all are supposed to be,” he said.

The crash is an error that he will always regret.

My responsibility is the safety of my passenger and it means everything to me. I try to always fly safe and have safe practices and I will kick myself forever,” he said.

seaplane accidents - Williams Kherkher

The Safety of Seaplanes

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there are only few seaplane accidents in a year in the U.S.

Seaplanes are also known to have a high standard of safety and maintenance, and seaplane pilots are known to have better flying skills than most land pilots.

Aircraft Accidents & Human Error

Based on Boeing, an approximate 80% of airplane accidents are caused by human error from pilots, air traffic controllers, mechanics, etc. while the remaining 20% is due to mechanical failure.

Taking a Legal Action After an Aviation Accident

An aviation accident is incredibly dangerous compared to land-based vehicle incidents. In the event of a crash, the pilots and passengers are at more risk to suffer from serious injuries or death.

One of the best ways to protect the victims’ and their family’s rights in aviation accidents is to secure good legal representation. Being able to take legal action will help you get what you’re rightfully due and this will also provide you with the much-needed compensation to aid with medical and other needs.

Williams Kherkher has dealt with aviation cases since 1983.  Our aviation attorneys understand what you are going through. We will discuss your legal options and help you recover. Contact us today for a free consultation at 888-220-0640.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident?

Contact us today at (888) 220-0640 to get a free, confidential case evaluation.