By Associated Press - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The family of a father and son whose small plane was hit by an Air Force jet is suing the federal government, blaming an air traffic controller for their deaths.

The lawsuit contends the Federal Aviation Administration controller failed to respond appropriately before the crash, The Post and Courier of Charleston ( reported.

The two-seat Cessna was hit by the F-16 fighter jet four minutes after taking off from the Berkeley County Airport in Moncks Corner, headed to Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach, on July 7, 2015.

The jet pilot parachuted to safety but Michael Johnson, 68, and Joseph Johnson, 30, were killed.

The lawsuit filed last week says the controller should have acted more quickly to change the jet’s course. The government’s response is due July 3.

“She gave too much control up to the aircraft, instead of being direct with what he should have done,” said the family’s lawyer, Jim Brauchle. He said the victims’ relatives feel forgotten after six months of fruitless negotiations. “The families are very disappointed and feel the government hasn’t taken responsibility for this accident,” he said.


Information from: The Post and Courier,

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