Helicopter Crash-Indictment

By: 23 News
By: 23 News

A helicopter pilot has been indicted for manslaughter for crashing a tour helicopter on Kauai's North Shore. A Wisconsin man was among three passengers who died.

Glen Lampton is believed to be the first pilot involved in a helicopter crash in Hawaii to face criminal prosecution. He was flying the Heli U-S-A Airways helicopter that plunged into the ocean near Haena Point on September 23rd.

Federal officials say Lampton told investigators that just before the crash, he suddenly saw another helicopter coming straight for him, made a left turn to avoid an accident and encountered heavy rain.

Two surviving passengers, Karen and Bill Thorson of Beloit, Wisconsin, have said they saw another helicopter at the time, but it was so far away they didn't believe Lampton had to maneuver to avoid hitting it.

Karen Thorson's father, Laverne Clifton of Beloit, died of cardiac arrest caused by near drowning. Catherine Baron and Mary Soucy, both of Portland, Maine, drowned.

Kauai prosecutors say Lampton was indicted on three counts for manslaughter, two counts in reckless endangering in the second degree, one count of falsification to authorities and one count in tempering with evidence.

If convicted for manslaughter, he could face a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the counts.

His lawyer says he'll plead not guilty.


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