Lawsuits filed two years after deadly Chesterfield plane crash

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Two years after a deadly plane crash in Chesterfield, the survivor and her sister have each filed civil lawsuits with damages totaling more than $10-million.

The lawsuits were filed in Chesterfield Circuit Court this month by Melissa Bowen and her sister, Christine Bowen. They claim 25 companies and individuals are responsible for the crash that destroyed Christine's house and left her sister with painful and permanent reminders.

It was the fiery scene on Woodsong Drive April 27, 2008. Two years later, a new home stands where the old one had been before a plane took it out. A plane that according to two lawsuits had faulty equipment, and did not undergo appropriate and necessary repairs and maintenance.

Court documents claim the company that made the aircraft knew the plane had a long and troubled service history but sold it anyway. The pilot and his father were killed.

"I was laying in bed, and it just came from the center of the house. A heat wave flew over my head and I screamed at the top of my lungs. I thought I was going to die," said Melissa Bowen back in February 2009.

She recounted the crash, her lengthy hospital stay and her five surgeries. Melissa Bowen was staying with her sister Christine at the time of the crash.

Christine wasn't home. Melissa was severely burned on her face arms and legs. According to the lawsuit she wants $11-million in damages. Christine wants $200,000. A plane part landed in Louise Perkinson's backyard.

"I was in the kitchen and my whole house shook," said Perkinson.

A lawsuit isn't shocking news.

"Not really surprising because I'm not aware of all the circumstances and all the expenses they went through," said Perkinson.

We reached out to the Bowen sisters but the family had no comment. Two additional lawsuits were filed on behalf of the pilot's estate against many of the same defendants claiming negligence and fraud. Those suits are asking for more than $20-million in damages. Trial dates have not been set. 

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