SAN PEDRO, CALIFORNIA (January 4, 2017) – A small black Robinson R22 helicopter, from JJ Helicopters, a Torrance-based company, crashed into the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of San Pedro on Wednesday evening, at approximately 5:40 p.m. (map)
The accident claimed the lives of both the pilot and passenger. The passenger, 61-year-old Michael Justice, an accomplished photographer, was in the helicopter to photograph three cruise ships when it crashed. The pilot has been identified as 41-year-old Christopher Reed
The U.S. Coast Guard and several city fire departments searched with boat crews and located the wreckage just inside the break-wall on Thursday morning. The accident was witnessed by passengers of a cruise ship, who saw the helicopter circling the Star Princess before spiraling downward and hitting the water near the harbor break-wall.
Robinson Helicopter Co. at Torrance Municipal Airport is the manufacturer of the R22 helicopter. According to the records, the aircraft was manufactured in 2005. The manufacturer has previously come under scrutiny from a New Zealand aviation agency last year, which suspended the use of Robinson helicopters after a series of crashes. Locally, three people were injured recently when a Robinson R44 helicopter made a “hard landing” on Mount Baldy.
“Our firms prayers are with all parties involved in this devastating collision,” said an attorney from Lexton Law Firm.
Losing a loved one is an extremely difficult time for any family member or friend affected by a tragedy. If you have lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence, you may have the right to a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Serving Sacramento, Newport Beach, San Diego and throughout California, Lexton Law Firm strongly encourages anyone who may find themselves in this situation to give us a call today at (877) 541-2111. We will fight hard to obtain the care you deserve and just compensation that you and your family are entitled.