A plane takes off at Santa Monica Airport. Photo by John Schreiber.
A plane takes off at Santa Monica Airport. Photo by John Schreiber.

The three sons of a passenger killed in a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport last year are suing the county, as well as the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, alleging a hangar into which the aircraft collided was built too close to the runway.

Charles, Elliot and Jackson Dupont brought the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking unspecified compensatory damages in the death of 53- year-old Kyla Dupont, who died along with three other people aboard the aircraft on Sept. 29, 2013.

The suit alleges all three government entities share in the control and operation of Santa Monica Airport.

A representative for the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office could could not be immediately reached.

Killed along with Dupont were the 63-year-old pilot, Mark Benjamin, who was the president of a Santa Monica-based construction company; his son Lucas, 28; and the younger Benjamin’s girlfriend, 28-year-old Lauren Winkler.

After the place crashed into the hangar, the structure’s roof collapsed onto the aircraft and a fire started, according to the suit, which alleges that the proximity of the hangar to the runway created a foreseeable risk of the kind of accident that occurred.

Last November, the Dupont sons sued Benjamin’s estate, alleging he failed to maintain proper control over the plane, did not act “reasonably in the ownership of the plane,” did not undertake the necessary actions to accomplish a safe flight, did not act reasonably in landing the plane and failed to keep it in good repair.

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board found that all of the tires were inflated and there was no debris on the runway when the Cessna 525A Citation slammed into the hangar around 6:20 p.m. upon arrival from Hailey, Idaho.

City News Service

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