EXCLUSIVE: Pilot Involved In Deadly Crash Speaks

Tuesday, October 30th 2007, 9:05 pm
By: News On 6

There are new developments in the case against a man involved in a deadly plane crash on Grand lake. On Tuesday, a Delaware County judge dropped manslaughter charges against the man flying the plane. Brent Caldwell was facing three charges of first-degree manslaughter. Following the judge’s decision, The News On 6 sat down with Caldwell and his attorney in an exclusive interview. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports this is the second time charges against Brent Caldwell have been dropped. He says he hopes this time it really is over, and the families of the men who died will finally have closure.

"Every day of my life, I think about the airplane wreck and about my friends that I've lost. And that's what people forget, that every day I have to live with that," former defendant Brent Caldwell said.

Brent Caldwell says he's still emotionally scarred by what happened that Saturday night last December, when he was taking some of his friends for a joyride around Grand Lake.

"While we were up in the air, flying around showing them, they wanted to go around the lake, and all of a sudden the engine quits, then you just start thinking, trying to find what to do," said Caldwell.

The plane crashed, killing 15-year-old Mariano Carlos, 20-year-old Everado Robles and 33-year-old Eulalio Gonzalez Campos. A banged up Caldwell survived and was arrested for manslaughter, because he didn't have his pilot's license.

The first set of charges didn't stick, but the district attorney refiled the charges earlier this month, after the National Transportation Safety Board released its final report. A judge has now ruled there's not enough evidence to show Caldwell crashed, because he didn't have a license.

"It was a terrible accident. Yes, my license I didn't have it. Do I regret it? Yes, but it wasn't because I didn't have a license,” Brent Caldwell said. “I know in my heart I didn't do anything wrong, and everyday I live with it."

Caldwell's attorney wants to dispel allegations that his client had been drinking or made any pilot errors.

"That there is drinking or alcohol involved and that turns out to be 0.0 in his blood. Next, that there is some pilot error by putting wheels down, but the plane automatically has wheels come down," Caldwell’s attorney Winston Connor said.

Caldwell says he hopes with this ruling this will finally be over.

"That's why I was so glad today that hopefully there's gonna be closure on this and everyone can go on with their lives,” said Caldwell. “Like I told you there's not a day that goes by for the rest of my life that I won't think of my friends."

Brent Caldwell still seems shaken up by the crash. In fact, he says he plans to never fly again, not as a pilot or even on a passenger airplane.

EXCLUSIVE: Pilot Speaks After Manslaughter Charges Dropped In Crash

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Brent Caldwell Talks About Deadly Crash

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Attorney Winston Connor Dispels Rumors In Caldwell Case

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