More time needed for prosecution of pilot over girl’s death
MORE time is needed to prepare evidence against a pilot charged with manslaughter over the death of an 11-year-old girl in a plane crash at Ewingar in April
John Patrick Crumpton was excused from appearing at Lismore local court yesterday as he was issued a future court attendance notice, but was represented by his solicitor Ms O'Shannessy.
The 53-year-old faces charges of manslaughter, reckless grievous bodily harm, aircraft fly below 500 feet, operate aircraft reckless to endangering life of a person over the April 12 crash.
It is alleged Crumpton was flying the Maule M-5 four seater plane over Ewingar when he hit powerlines at 11.20am and crashed into the Clarence River.
Crumpton trekked 4km through bush to find help while David Whitten, 34, and his daughter 11-year-old daughter Kayla stayed put.
Local SES, police, paramedics and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter attended after 1pm and found the plane upside down and almost completely submerged.
When they arrived at the crash site, Kayla was pronounced dead.
Three Air Transport Safety Bureau investigators flew to the crash site and examined the wreckage to determine the cause of the crash.
Yesterday prosecutor Mr Freelander told the court the case was very complex and more time was needed to compile the brief of evidence.
Magistrate David Heilpern told the court he and Mr Crumpton had a friend in common and he would excuse himself from the matter if this became an issue.
Mr Heilpern adjourned the matters until December 2 at Lismore Local Court.