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Saturday, December 2, 2023
Dec. 2, 2023

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Wife of WA pilot killed in Whidbey Island floatplane crash files lawsuit


SEATTLE — The wife of the pilot killed last year in a floatplane crash off Whidbey Island has become the latest to file a lawsuit against companies associated with the aircraft’s operations and manufacturing.

Jason Winters, a 43-year-old longtime commercial pilot, was among the 10 people killed when the single-engine De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Turbine Otter plunged into Mutiny Bay over Labor Day weekend in 2022.

Until Thursday, Winters was the only person on board whose loved ones had not yet filed a lawsuit. His claim and the four others previously filed say aviation entities, including Northwest Seaplanes and de Havilland Aircraft of Canada, are responsible for the victims’ deaths.

The lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court, alleges Winters suffered “extreme, severe, relentless fear for the life and physical well-being” of himself and his passengers as the plane crashed.

Winters was interested in aviation from childhood, and began working for Chelan Seaplanes — one of the companies named in the lawsuit — as a high school student. He had three children and has been described as a loving father, partner and friend, as well as a skilled pilot.

Winters’ wife, Nicole Medved, is represented by the same law firm, Aviation Law Group, as loved ones who filed lawsuits in August on behalf of victims Ross Mickel and his son Remy Mickel.

Representatives for the estates of Mickel’s wife, Lauren Hilty, and their unborn son, Luca; Joanne Mera; Gabrielle Hanna; and Sandy Williams filed a third wrongful death lawsuit. Representatives for Rebecca and Luke Ludwig, a Minnesota couple who had two children, filed another. The son of retired schoolteacher Patricia Hicks, Williams’ partner, filed one earlier this month.

The aviation entities have previously declined to comment. Last year, Northwest Seaplanes said it was “heartbroken” over the incident.

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