New Brunswick

Grand Manan air charter company sued following deadly crash

WorkSafe New Brunswick is suing the Grand Manan charter service, Manan Air Services Inc. and the estate of a deceased pilot, in relation to a plane crash that claimed the life of a pilot and paramedic.

WorkSafe NB seeks damages on behalf of family of paramedic who died in air ambulance crash

The air ambulance plane crash, which took place in the early hours of August 16, 2014, claimed the life the pilot and a paramedic, both residents of Grand Manan Island. (CBC)

WorkSafe New Brunswick is suing the Grand Manan charter service, Manan Air Services Inc. and the estate of a deceased pilot, in relation to a plane crash that claimed the life of a pilot and paramedic. 

The lawsuit claims Manan Air Services Inc. and the captain of the flight were negligent. 

Court documents show the lawsuit was filed on Aug. 12, on behalf of the estate of William Dwight Mallock. William (Billy) Mallock, 60, was the paramedic who died in the crash of a Piper PA-31 aircraft along with pilot and co-owner of the flight company, Klaus Sonnenberg.

Documents claim the captain of the airplane, Sonnenberg, commenced flight with a single headset onboard, and the flight took place in weather that obscured visual references needed for landing. 

The fatal plane crash took place in an open field next to the airstrip where the plane should have landed in the early hours of Aug. 16, 2014. Both Sonnenberg and Mallock were residents of Grand Manan.

Paramedic William "Billy" Mallock killed in the 2014 crash. (CBC)
Court documents filed almost exactly two years after the crash also allege carry-on baggage, equipment and cargo were not restrained on the flight and became "dangerous projectiles in the crash." It also claims Sonnenberg installed the Air Ambulance system without proper training.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. 

The Mallock estate, represented by Mallock's widow Katherine Mallock, is seeking damages for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, loss of future income, loss of available services, loss of parental guidance, and damages for pain and suffering.

Those who filed the lawsuit are not commenting on its filing.

"I spoke to my client about that, that it might be getting some publicity and she asked me not comment," said lawyer Peter MacPhail. "Not right now." 

New Brunswick laws allow WorkSafeNB to pay out benefits and then sue employers to collect money.

About the Author

Shane Fowler

Reporter

Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.