Another wrongful death lawsuit was filed today in connection with a helicopter crash in which three people were killed in Acton earlier this year during production of a military-themed reality show for the Discovery Channel.
The suit, which also alleges negligence, was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Grisel Donatelli, widow of Michael William Donatelli, and the couple's children, Amanda Carolina and Dominic William.
Their 45-year-old father, who was a Special Forces veteran and amateur boxer, was a cast member in the unnamed show that was being filmed on Polsa Rosa Ranch when the Bell 206 JetRanger crashed around 3:40 a.m. Feb. 10.
Donatelli, pilot David Gibbs, 59, and crew member and cameraman Darren Rydstrom, 46, were killed.
The suit accuses the pilot, the owners of the helicopter and the producers of the show of negligence. Names in the suit are Discovery Communications LLC, Van Nuys Copters LLC, Orbic Air, Crossbow Inc. -- which was owned by Gibbs -- and the pilot's estate.
A representative of the Discovery Channel could not be immediately reached.
"The flight called for operating the helicopter at low altitudes, over hilly terrain with low lighting, poor visibility and in frost conditions," according to the plaintiffs' court papers, which say the chopper was traveling at about 60 mph when it "suddenly pitched down and crashed into the ground."
Rydstrom's mother, Jerie Rydstrom, filed a similar lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 29.
—from City News Service