Families Awarded $17M in Lawsuit Over Fatal Midair Crash in Md.

The families of two helicopter pilots who were killed in a 2014 midair collision with a small plane have been awarded a total of $17 million in a lawsuit.

Midwest Air Traffic Control Services will pay the family of 29-year-old Christopher Parsons $5 million and the family of 47-year-old William Jenkins $12 million, per Tuesday's decision, the Frederick News-Post reports

Economists calculated the awards based on the financial losses the deaths represented to each family. 

The company, which was sued for negligence, had claimed the pilots' lack of awareness caused the crash. Midwest's attorneys could not be reached for comment.

Parsons was a helicopter instructor who was training Jenkins, a licensed pilot from Colorado. A third passenger also died in the crash, but his family was not part of the lawsuit. 

The three died Oct. 23, 2014, in a midair crash just north of Interstate 70 in Frederick, Maryland, about a mile from the Frederick Municipal Airport.

According to the FAA, the plane -- a fixed wing, single-engine Cirrus SR 22 -- was en route to the airport and the R44 helicopter was conducting a training exercise when the two collided mid-air.

The helicopter crashed between two rows of storage units, killing all three people aboard.

The two people aboard the plane were hospitalized as a precaution but were released hours after the crash. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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