07/24/2013 // New York, NY, USA // jcreiterlaw // Jonathan C. Reiter // (press release)
Southwest Airlines flight #345 from Nashville to New York crash landed at LaGuardia Airport as the front landing gear collapsed upon hitting the runway, sending the jet skidding along runway #4 on its belly as flames and sparks shot through the sky above. The jet itself did not catch fire, according to eyewitnesses. The crash occurred on Monday, July 22, 2013 at approximately 5:40 p.m. The jet filled with smoke as the 149 passengers and crew escaped through the emergency chutes. Several passengers reported that there was no warning from the pilot before the landing. Injured passengers and crew were treated at the scene and transported to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, with injuries described as not serious. The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) was at the scene and investigating the possible causes of the crash. The Federal Aviation Agency reported that the flight reported a possible landing gear issue before landing despite the fact that the landing gear had been inspected four days before the crash.
According to New York aviation accident attorney, Jonathan C. Reiter, whose office is in the Empire State Building, and who has handled many aviation accident cases, including commercial airline crashes, and the Word Trade Center disaster, this crash appears to have been caused by a landing gear failure, which will be revealed in the coming months through the NTSB investigation. Mr. Reiter stated as follows: “The NTSB is mandated under federal aviation law to investigate the cause of all aviation accidents within the United States. The first part of the investigation is a careful analysis of the flight and data recorders, the so-called “black box”. As the jet hit the runway, the nose hit first, as the front landing gear failed and collapsed into the jet, causing the jet to skid and careen along the runway until it finally came to a stop. Mr. Reiter then addressed the injuries that are likely to be seen from a crash of this type, as follows: “There will likely be injuries including head trauma, severe whiplash, spinal injuries and abdominal and shoulder injuries caused by seat belts. Added to these types of physical injuries will be the mental anguish and psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD), which can manifest days or even weeks following a crash. The anxiety and fear that presages a jet crash can result in PTSD which can manifest days or weeks following the crash. Unfortunately, these are very serious and permanent injuries, requiring life long care and treatment.”
It will likely take months for the NTSB to conduct a full investigation and issue a report that will conclude with the cause of this accident. Mr. Reiter stated as follows: “the NTSB will conduct extensive investigation of this crash to create a full picture of what factors caused this crash.”
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