Skip to comments.Phoenix Police Say Car Theft Suspect May Face Charges for News Chopper Crash That Killed Four
Posted on 07/29/2007 3:43:38 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi
PHOENIX Federal investigators on Saturday began gathering debris from two news helicopters that collided while covering a police chase on live television and crashed, killing all four people aboard.
The investigators plan to lay out the wreckage elsewhere to try to determine the point where the two aircraft collided Friday, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Howard Plagens said.
"We're just mapping out the locations ... how things are scattered, that's our main focus," he said.
Investigators said they'll need at least another day to finish going through the debris, which was sprayed across the ground and landed atop nearby buildings.
On Saturday, investigators allowed reporters into the crash site.
The helicopters' hulls were flipped over and squashed in two twisted heaps. The explosion blackened grass and trees. Curved metal sheets from the choppers floated upside down in a nearby pond.
Meanwhile, the man suspected of starting the chase was booked into jail on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of theft and one count of resisting arrest.
Christopher Jermaine Jones, 23, also may be held responsible for the helicopter crash, police said.
Formal charges are expected to come later. At an initial court appearance, bail was set at $1 million.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
I wonder who they charge if a news chopper crashes in the middle of a traffic report.
With the newer zooming cameras these guys have to work with I can’t undersdtand why they all have to orbit DIRECTLY over the point of interest.
I heard a snippet of conversation between two of them yesterday and it sounded to me like they both knew they were flirting with disaster. It sounded as though they were comparing altitudes as if they could not see each other.
RIP. My sympathy for the families.
“......but news accidents are now the fault of the suspect?”
Someone does something that you don’t like or that makes you angry, you sicc the law on them and make believe that that’s OK and well within the law’s jurisdiction. The kids swatting butts case comes to mind.
It kills me that so many people recognize that the Great American culture is dying and as they point it out and comment on it they refrence the ramifications as coming years from now. It’s now. Kid has a sunburn from his outing at the beach? You’re under arrest. It’s now, not later.
That just doesn’t seem right to me either.
Horrible isnt it.
What the saying about busybodies and minding their own affairs.
Gang shootings and no one will snitch but your right a sunburn and they throw the book at you.
Journalists! Peeking through keyholes! Running after fire engines like a lot of coach dogs! Waking people up in the middle of the night to ask them what they think of Mussolini. Stealing pictures off old ladies of their daughters that get raped in Oak Park. A lot of lousy, daffy buttinskis, swelling around with holes in their pants, borrowing nickels from office boys! And for what? So a million hired girls and motormen's wives'll know what's going on.
Hecht and MacArthur were being kind.
“Christopher Jermaine Jones, 23, also may be held responsible for the helicopter crash, police said.”
Perhaps its under the doctrine of “attractive nuisance”, as when the owner of a swimming pool is held liable for neighborhood kids sneaking into it late at night and drowning. Criminals in the act of their crimes are “attractive nuisances” for rubber-necking passersby, especially the universal representatives of the fatuously inquisitive: journalists.
That’s streching it.
Before gyroscope stabilized cameras, news helicopters tried to get close for the best picture.
Now they try to get close to show the perpetrator's face inside the car.
With our media, it is never enough.
The police *must* pursue a suspect. The media do not have such an obligation.
Prosecutorial overreach. Lots of that going around these days.
This is complete BS. I think the perp has a stronger case for suing the news stations — after all, it was HIS life that was put in danger when they negligently ran into each other and rained debris, including possibly contagious biological debris, into his proximity!
If cops or someone else on the ground had been killed during the pursuit, that would be warranted. But media hounds killed in competion over coverage DUE TO PILOTS' ERROR.... ABSURD!
I suspect that the prosecutor thinks the perp is an easy target due to his past convictions and this police chase. He’s counting on the public not caring about the perp and he thinks he has 4 convictions for some form of homicide in the bag. I’m sure it’s an awfully nice feather in his cap on the road to becoming a judge or any political future.
If he tries it I suspect it’s going to blow up in his face.
They need to agree on some kind of altitude separation.
If the suspect himself rams another car or forces another vehicle into a collision then and only then ought he be charged.
The police do not need nor deserve carte blanche for any acts of carelessness or stupidity committed in the line of duty.Nor do newspeople or any other busybody who injures anyone while observing any activity.
The doctrine of personal responsibilty for one's acts cannot reasonably be expanded to include the bad judgments of everyone;else we all better do nothing for fear of prosecution.
I'm in total agreement with you. Place the blame where blame belongs, with the pilots. That said, it is very sad that there was any loss of life.
I forget who said it, but there’s a great quote out there:
“There are two kinds of people in this world...
those who want to be left alone and
those who won’t leave them alone!”
Regardless of what this suspect did, or that he was leading police on a chase, he is IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE for these ratings hungry reporters crashing their choppers. This is absurd, and it will never hold up (I pray, but in this bizzaro world we live in....)
Yeah. This is ridiculous.
In this particular case I think it could be strongly argued that the media actually INTERFERED with the proper administration of the police duties.
Four counts of murder.
Hang the person in the public square within 30 days. Within one year the carjackings will drop way down.
Talk about a slippery slope. The news crews didn’t have to be there. I could see the point if police crashed/died while in pursuit, or innocents were mowed down by this perp. There would even be some relevence if these were police helicopters aiding in the pursuit, but news crews salivating for ratings? Egads.
This was a tragic accident but the fault lies with the terminally negligent pilot(s).
Christopher Jermaine Jones, 23, also may be held responsible for the helicopter crash, police said.
Sure, what the hell.
Might as well charge him for the sinking of the Lusitania and Sacking of Rome in 410 AD by Alaric and his Visigoths too.
“Im sure its an awfully nice feather in his cap on the road to becoming a judge or any political future.’
Not to mention the future favorable press coverage he will have “earned.”
“If cops or someone else on the ground had been killed during the pursuit, that would be warranted. But media hounds killed in competion over coverage DUE TO PILOTS’ ERROR.... ABSURD”
I respectfully disagree. If someone on the ground had been killed - then the TV stations that owned the helicopters and sent them in the air should be sued.
Ok, now that’s going a bit far. He didn’t ask the news helicopters to rush in for ratings. The pilots were at fault, period.
I worked in Brentwood, about 200 yards from the condo where Orenthal butchered Nicole and Goldman. One wall of the office was solid window, so we had a great view of the entire 'hood.
On what turned out to be the morning of the "Bronco Chase", OJ had gone missing and it was speculation for several hours that he had gone to - or was enroute to - the murder scene to off himself.
I can't recall now how many choppers were circling overhead, but I do remember being halfway scared to walk out and look at 'em, because a midair sure appeared imminent.
It was pilot error or mechanical problems.
Agreed..., but the POS perp is not responsible for deaths due to media competition...
The cops have it wrong here. They obviously have no idea of the meaning of CAUSE. The fleeing suspect didn’t cause the helicopter accident. If the cops had crashed into a pole while chasing the creep, they would have a case.
The prosecutor is getting ready for the next election, got to have that TV time !
sorry, read your post wrong...needed more coffee; shouldn’t post before the second cup!
Is Nifong working in Phoenix now?
By this logic we must charge the news directors with manslaughter for sending helicopters into a dangerous situation to garner ratings. NO freaking way this criminal is responsible for the helicopters crews.
Its pretty cut n dried when 95% of the FRiends agree to back the criminal in a situation. His rights are in fact being violated if indicted.
I agree with most everyone on this thread.
I also sympathize with the families of these familiies.
News crews are out on these things because their station sends them to cover it.
The criminal is just that, a criminal the police were after.
He should be charged with the crime he did commit, not for the horrible accident that didn’t need to happen.
It seems like there should be some kind of assigned altitudes or something. As choppers arrive they would be stacked and any deviation should bring hefty fines.
NASCAR has a pretty detailed air traffic control and ground crew that travel with the series these days. I talked to one of the controllers a few years ago and he explained a bit about how it works.
They will have 6 or so choppers circling at a mile or so out as 3 are on the ground. As 3 take off, 3 more are rotating to come in for a landing. At peak periods they may be stacked 3 high circling for a for a landing. As the choppers in the lowest level land, choppers from the next level take their spots in the holding pattern.
There isn’t enough money in the world to make me want to be an air traffic controller for busy airspace.
As a former SoCal resident, it amazes me how many times I’ve seen 5-6 news helicopters hovering over the (VERY) small space over a crime scene or following along with a police pursuit.
Now while the police have the right of way and lowest clearance, the news choppers are all hovering at around 1500 feet AGL with minimal separation closer than I’ve seen even experienced military pilots flying.
Bottom line, it’s a miracle something like this hasn’t happened sooner.
The chopper "news reporters" were no different from paparazzi. The pilots should've been charged with wreckless endangerment (although they DID wreck).
Felony murder, I think they call it- a death caused indirectly by the commission of a felony.
“The investigators plan to lay out the wreckage elsewhere to try to determine the point where the two aircraft collided Friday, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Howard Plagens said. Now that’s really important to find that out using taxpayer’s money isn’t it Mr Plagens?”
EGGS ACKLEY! This crash even has video. What a waste of money. They will gain information that is TOTALLY USELESS!
RE post 45:
I used to fly sailplanes a lot (in my younger days). It was not unusual to have a dozen sailplanes climbing in a small thermal. We had rules that work pretty good. First man on scene establishes rotation, any gliders joing the gaggle must turn in the same direction.
If one machine out climbs another he must “pass” on the outside as he climbs up past the other.
Once in a great while “fender benders” would occur. Parachutes have a purpose.
Powered aircraft of course have the option of controlling altitude that we didn’t. I suppose bailing out of a chopper would be near impossible.