Home » Wigwe’s Family Sues Over Fatal US Helicopter Crash

Wigwe’s Family Sues Over Fatal US Helicopter Crash

Legal Action Taken Against Charter Company Amid Weather Concerns

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

The tragic helicopter crash near the Nevada border in February, which claimed the lives of Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group, and several others, has spurred legal action against the US-based charter company responsible for the flight. In addition to Ogunbanjo, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, former CEO of Access Holdings, his wife, and son were among the victims of the devastating accident.

The lawsuit, filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court, accuses Orbic Air, the charter company operating the ill-fated helicopter, of disregarding dangerous weather conditions, ultimately leading to the fatal crash. According to legal representatives for Ogunbanjo’s family, the flight should have been grounded due to the presence of a “wintry mix” of snow and rain in the Mojave Desert area where the incident occurred.

Andrew C. Robb, one of the attorneys representing Ogunbanjo’s family, emphasized their pursuit of “answers and accountability.” He highlighted the preventable nature of the flight, stating, “Helicopters do not do very well in snow and ice,” expressing bewilderment as to why the aircraft departed under such hazardous conditions. The lawsuit targets Orbic Air and its CEO, Brady Bowers, as well as unidentified successors of individuals whom Ogunbanjo’s family holds responsible for the negligence leading to the crash. Despite the legal action taken, Orbic Air has chosen not to comment on the matter.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is actively investigating the crash, with a preliminary report shedding some light on the flight path and the condition of the wreckage. Witnesses reported observing a “fireball” during the crash amidst rainy and snowy weather conditions, adding to the gravity of the situation.

The legal action seeks a jury trial to address various aspects, including Ogunbanjo’s burial and funeral expenses, as well as other damages incurred by his family as a result of the tragic incident. Notably, the law firm representing the family, Robb & Robb, has a track record of handling high-profile cases, having previously represented Vanessa Bryant in a lawsuit following Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash in 2020.

The Ogunbanjo family’s decision to pursue legal action emphasises the devastating impact of the helicopter crash, not only on their lives but also on the broader community. As investigations continue, questions remain unanswered about the circumstances leading up to the ill-fated flight and the responsibility of those involved.

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