SES and Police divers pictured in April trying to retrieve the plane that crashed into the Clarence River at Yates Crossing, Ewingar.
SES and Police divers pictured in April trying to retrieve the plane that crashed into the Clarence River at Yates Crossing, Ewingar. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Medical report sought over Ewingar plane crash

A MEDICAL report is required to prove the charge of causing grievous bodily harm against a pilot who crashed at Ewingar in April last year, killing an 11-year-old girl.

John Patrick Crumpton was excused from appearing at Lismore Local Court yesterday but was represented by his solicitor, Ms O'Shannasey. The pilot, who was 53 when he crashed into the Clarence River, faces charges of manslaughter, reckless grievous bodily harm, aircraft fly below 500 feet and operate aircraft reckless to endangering life of a person over the April 12 crash.

The Director of Public Prosecutions alleged Crumpton was flying the Maule M-5 four-seater plane over Ewingar when he hit powerlines at 11.20am and crashed into the river.

Crumpton trekked 4km through bush to find help for his passengers, David Whitten, 34, and his 11-year-old daughter Kayla, but when emergency services arrived they found the girl deceased.

Prosecutor Ms Magni told the court the Director had elected to proceed on the charge of manslaughter, but a medical report was required to prove the charge of reckless grievous bodily harm.

After asking to see the police facts concerning the case, Magistrate David Heilpern suggested if a doctor was going to prepare a report, it should already be completed. "Well, the facts are pretty loose on the issue of grievous bodily harm, aren't they," Mr Heilpern said.

Ms O'Shannasey told Mr Heilpern she had spoken on Monday to the doctor, who said the report would be finished yesterday.

Mr Heilpern ordered the brief of evidence to be completed by January 30 and adjourned Crumpton's matters until February at Lismore Local Court.



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