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Driver hit by plane sues pilot, advocates for change

(Winston Armani, KSL, File)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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ROY — A woman whose car was hit during a plane crash in 2017 is now suing the pilot and advocating for changes to the law.

Samantha Sandoval still remembers the moment that the plane struck her vehicle near 4500 South and 1900 West in Roy.

“I think about it every day of my life,” she said. “I’m not the same person that I was.”

The plane had just taken off from Ogden Airport, and it crashed into her car causing it to burst into flames.

“I remember banging, hitting the windows, trying to get out and the door wasn’t opening,” she said.

Sandoval said bystanders pulled her out and saved her life. However, the damage done to her that day has yet to be repaired.

“I have moments where planes fly over my house, and (I’m) ducking in my own house, you know?” Sandoval said. “It’s just awful.”


She said medical bills to deal with the trauma mounted. Her lawyer, Robert Fuller, said the pilot did not have liability insurance, and he believes Utah law should make that a requirement.

“Put more of a burden on those who fly the planes who are making the decisions of whether or not the planes are air-worthy,” Fuller said.

Their lawsuit also alleges that the plane wasn’t in the condition to be flown at all.

“We are alleging that plane sat on that tarmac right there for about 12 years without what is called an annual inspection, and it took off,” Fuller said. “It should have never left the ground.”

An NTSB investigation found that engine failure was to blame for the plane going down.

Sandoval said she hopes this case will prompt lawmakers to make changes to requirements for pilots.

“I have to have car insurance, I have to have homeowners insurance, I have to have health insurance,” she said. “So I want to know why these pilots can just get in a plane and fly without insurance.”

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