Saturday, May 17, 2014

Daughter of couple killed in floatplane crash sues pilot’s estate: de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, C-GCZA, accident occurred May 13, 2012 in Peachland, British Columbia

A daughter of a couple killed in a plane crash near Peachland two years ago is suing the estate of the pilot, who also died in the accident. 

Shortly after takeoff from Okanagan Lake, a float plane piloted by Colin Moyes, 52, struck trees, crashed to the ground and burst into flames. Moyes was killed along with passengers Peter Keate, 81, and Keate’s wife, Inez Helen Keate, 79.

Melita O’Neill, a daughter of the couple and a New Westminster resident, has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court on behalf of herself, the estate of her parents and the other children of the couple, including Alexandra Mathisen.

The lawsuit says that Peter Keate was a “devoted father and grandfather and enjoyed a close, loving relationship with his children and his grandchildren and as a result of his death, his family members have suffered loss of “valuable services,” care, guidance and companionship and funeral and burial expenses.

The same losses are being claimed for the death of Helen Keate.

O’Neill’s lawsuit says that the defendant, Colin Moyes, as a pilot owed a duty of care to the passengers of the Beaver aircraft and failed to exercise reasonable care.

The accident on May 13, 2012 was caused by the negligence of the defendant, it says.

Unspecified damages pursuant to the Family Compensation Act are being sought. Named as the defendant is Mathisen, the representative of the Moyes estate.

Jamie Thornback, a lawyer for the plaintiff, explained that Mathisen, who had been set to marry Moyes, was named as a defendant because of the way the act was written in B.C.

“Essentially one of the beneficiaries has to be named to bring it on behalf of everyone,” he said. “Now Alex Mathisen is named in the lawsuit as the defendant because she is the representative of the estate. But obviously the expectation is that the insurance company is going to step in to defend the action on behalf of the estate. It’s just really the wording of the statute which requires it to be filed this way.”

No response has been filed to the lawsuit, which contains allegations that have not been proven in court.

Aviation Investigation Report
Controlled Flight into Terrain
de Havilland DHC-2MK1(Beaver)C-GCZA
Peachland, British Columbia, 10 nm W
13 May 2012
Report Number A12P0070

Summary:  The privately operated de Havilland DHC-2MK1 amphibious floatplane (registration C-GCZA, serial number 1667) departed Okanagan Lake, near Kelowna, for a daytime flight under visual flight rules to Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, with the pilot and 2 passengers on board. While enroute, the aircraft struck trees and collided with terrain close to and 100 feet below the level of Highway 97C, near the Brenda Mines. At 1850 Pacific Daylight Time, a brief 406-megahertz emergency-locator-transmitter signal was detected, which identified the aircraft; however, a location could not be determined. Most of the aircraft was consumed by a post-impact fire. The 3 occupants were fatally injured.

Colin Moyes

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