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Helicopter crash near Las Vegas fatally injures five

The families of a newlywed couple who were killed in an accident while riding in a helicopter operated by a Las Vegas sightseeing company have filed a personal injury lawsuit against the company, the Las Vegas Sun is reporting. The husband and wife were two of the five people who died in the Dec. 7 crash, which also included a couple celebrating their 25th anniversary.

The couples were riding a helicopter operated by Sundance Helicopters Inc. of Las Vegas. The pilot, a 31-year-old Las Vegas man, was taking them over the Lake Mead National Recreational Area near the Hoover Dam when the helicopter suddenly climbed 600 feet into the air, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board, which has been investigating the incident.

After the climb, the helicopter veered to the left and plunged 800 feet. The pilot turned the craft to the left while attempting to regain control but the helicopter continued to fall and crashed into a ravine.

All five people aboard were killed. They included a 49-year-old couple in Las Vegas for their 25th anniversary and a younger couple from India on their honeymoon. An attorney for the Indian couple's relatives filed a personal injury lawsuit against Sundance in Clark County District Court on Dec. 13, alleging negligence on the company's part. The suit seeks unspecified damages. It remains to be seen if the family of the older couple will file a similar lawsuit.

Tour companies who transport clients in vehicles such as helicopters or buses are at risk of being sued in the event of an accident. Consulting with an attorney after such an incident can help companies sort out their best course of action.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, "Lawsuit filed in Las Vegas helicopter crash," Dec. 13, 2011

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