Back in 2021, the richest man in the Czech Republic was killed in a helicopter crash in Alaska. Petr Kellner was on a heli-skiing trip when the helicopter he was on crashed, leaving five people dead.
Alaska Public Radio reports that Kellner’s family is suing Soloy Helicopters, Triumvirate LLC, and Third Edge Alaska LLC for punitive and other damages, alleging negligence from the three defendants. Triumvirate runs the Todrillo Mountain Lodge (which hosts the heli-skiing operation that Kellner used), while Third Edge Alaska LLC was a heli-skiing service that has been administratively dissolved since the incident. The only survivor from the incident, David Horvath, is also suing the lodge.
Kellner was severely injured but had initially survived the crash. Horvath’s attorney said that Kellner and the guide initially survived the crash but died after the slow response. The lawsuit alleges that the three companies should have known about the crash immediately, and failed to notify authorities in a timely fashion. They also accuse them of not monitoring the location of the pilot and not keeping contact with the pilot and guide. Another stunning allegation is that the helicopter’s emergency location transmitter did not go off when it crashed.
Horvath also was severely hurt by the landing, resulting in broken ribs and dislocated knees. With him not being rescued for nearly six hours, Horvath also lost all his fingers on his left hand, and some on his right due to frostbite.
Triumvirate released the following statement:
“Triumvirate LLC and its employees again express condolences to the families who lost loved ones and to the survivor who was injured in the helicopter crash. To be clear, Triumvirate LLC was not responsible for the crash and there is no merit to the claims against Triumvirate LLC.”
The final crash report from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to be published later this year.
Image Credits: Todrillo Mountain Lodge, Alaska Mountain Rescue Group