In the early morning hours of September 26, 4 soldiers boarded an army helicopter en route to help a fellow soldier suffering from heat related issues. The weather was clear and there didn’t appear to be any issues with the helicopter. In fact, the helicopter crash in Louisiana took place at a training facility where these kinds of operations are routine.
Sadly, the helicopter crashed before they reached the man in distress. The crash took place near Fort Polk in Louisiana. Three of the men on board were taken to the hospital with injuries. Their injuries did not seem to be life-threatening. The man they were en route to pick up did not suffer any serious injuries and is reported to be doing well.
Unfortunately, the fourth soldier was not so lucky. He died as a result of the crash. The crash took place at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk. This was the second such incident this year that resulted in fatalities.
The helicopter was a UH-60 Black Hawk Medevac unit. It belonged to the Fort Polk based I05 aviation battalion. It doesn’t appear that the helicopter was owned or supported by a private company. Had it been, the victims would have been able to file a claim for damages for any injuries they’ve suffered.
What this means for the families of the victims is that they can’t file suit against the government for damages. The military is protected from civil liability in accident such as this. The victim’s family may be able to file a claim under the Military Claims Act. This remains to be seen.
For now, it will be interesting to see what the investigation reveals. It’s still early days – however, there doesn’t seem to be any cause cited as yet.
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