Lawyer releases new details on deadly '07 news chopper crash

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by Catherine Holland / azfamily.com

azfamily.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 21 at 10:37 AM

PHOENIX -- Two years ago today, NewsChopper 3 and ABC15's helicopter collided in mid-air, crashing in Steele Indian School Park and killing four Valley newsmen, including two of Arizona's Family.

Families call for changes

2nd anniversary of 3TV, ABC15 chopper collision - Today marks the second anniversary of the deadly mid-air collision of 3TV's and ABC15's news choppers.

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The choppers were covering a slow speed chase and carjacking when they collided shortly before noon on July 27, 2007.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that both pilots failed to see and avoid the other.

Today, a lawyer for the families of 3TV photographer Jim Cox and pilot Scott Bowerbank held a news conference to talk about new developments regarding that crash.

The families' lawyer, Pat McGroder, announced an out-of-court settlement with the company that leased Channel 15 its news chopper. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

McGroder also released a graphic recreation of the deadly crash that he says relieves Bowerbank from any responsibility for the incident.

The families are calling for major changes in the way news helicopters are used.

The families are urging news organizations to end the practice of pilot/reporters and the end of covering what they called non-sensical garbage stories.

ABC15's pilot Craig Smith and photographer Rick Krolak were also killed in the collision.

Just 50 feet from the crash site is a memorial dedicated to the four men.

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