Tort claim over OSU plane crash settled with state

Wednesday, January 9th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The family of an Oklahoma State University basketball player who died in a plane crash last year settled a claim with the state for $175,000, records show.

The family of Nate Fleming, one of 10 people killed in the Jan. 27 crash in Colorado, settled for the maximum amount allowed under state law.

The tort claim, settled Nov. 30, was one of two filed against Oklahoma because of the plane crash.

The family of Daniel Lawson, another basketball player killed in the crash, was the first to file such a claim. That case is pending.

The Flemings have also filed a legal action asking for an examination of the plane's wreckage and a private investigator was allowed to examine the plane in October.

In December, the Flemings asked the court to permit further inspection of specific parts of the plane, including starters, generators, the voltmeter, transistors, wiring and environmental fans. Investigators plan to conduct that examination Jan. 14-16. The wreckage is in Florida.

Fleming and Lawson were among 10 people associated with Oklahoma State's basketball program who were killed while traveling home to Stillwater after a game against the University of Colorado. The Beechcraft Super King Air 200 they were riding in crashed 20 minutes after takeoff in a field outside Strasburg, Colo.

Others killed were sports broadcaster Bill Teegins, student manager Jared Weiberg, sports information assistant Will Hancock, director of basketball operations Pat Noyes, trainer Brian Luinstra, broadcast engineer Kendall Durfey, and pilots Denver Mills and Bjorn Fahlstrom.

Durfey's family settled a lawsuit in June against the plane's owner, pilots and OSU for an undisclosed amount.

Four of the 10 victims' families settled with the insurance company. Five families have filed wrongful death petitions against the plane's owner and the estate of the pilot.

The families of Hancock, Weiberg, Fahlstrom, Fleming and Lawson filed their petitions in early November. They claimed negligence on the part of the plane's owner, North Bay Charter, and the pilot, Mills.

Attorneys for the insurance company representing the Mills family have denied any negligence on the part of Mills.

North Bay Charter also filed a legal response last week, denying negligence.