A small plane carrying three family members broke apart in the air and crashed in northeast Mississippi earlier this month, killing everyone on board. Witnesses reported a thunderstorm in the area when the single-engine Piper Cherokee Lance crashed near New Site, about 35 miles northeast of Tupelo. The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation.
The dead were identified as James Bartley Jr.; his wife, Terry Bartley; and their youngest daughter, Caroline Bartley, said Carter Hyneman. The family was flying from their vacation home in the North Carolina mountains to the University of Mississippi, where Caroline Bartley was a student.
Sadly, this accident is one of many that have occurred in recent years. There have been 29 aircraft accidents, five resulting in fatalities, in Northeast Mississippi since 2002. The state of Mississippi saw a much larger number: 169 and 10 involving fatalities. 61 people have lost their lives in such aircraft collision across the state, 10 of which died in Northeast Mississippi.
Though the numbers seem large, they unfortunately are not that unusual. Airplane accidents, especially those involving small planes, happen almost everyday across the country. In the past decade every state in the country saw at least a few such accidents, with a large state like California suffering through hundreds.
Sadly, the problem is almost always human error. Tupelo Regional Airport Executive Director Josh Abramson said that, “Flying an aircraft is probably one of the safest means of transportation, with the caveat that it’s one of the most unforgiving for mistakes.”
According to statistics available from the National Transportation Safety Board, human error was to blame for four out of every five Northeast Mississippi airplane accidents. Mechanical problems caused just four incidents and four other crashes remain under investigation.
According to data from the NTSB, this region of Mississippi has the state’s second-highest number of air-related accidents and second-highest number of fatalities in the past decade. The much larger Mississippi Delta region has seen the most accidents, 39, but only the third highest number of deaths. The most deaths occurred, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the much more populous Jackson metropolitan area.
In the event an aviation accident was caused by the negligent actions of another party, accident victims have the legal right to pursue compensation from anyone deemed at-fault. If you have been injured in an aviation accident, contact Stroud, Flechas & Dalton today at (662) 536-5656.
Source: “10 have died in Northeast Mississippi aircraft accidents since 2002 [no longer available on source website],” by Emily Le Coz, published at DJournal.com.