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Family sues government over 2015 midair collision deaths

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The family of a father and son killed when their small plane was hit by an Air Force jet nearly two years ago is suing the federal government.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports (http://bit.ly/2nyPKmS) the lawsuit contends the Federal Aviation Administration’s air traffic controller failed to respond appropriately before the crash in South Carolina.

Sixty-eight-year-old Michael Johnson and 30-year-old Joseph Johnson died when their Cessna was hit by an F-16 jet fighter on July 15, 2015 over Berkeley County. The fighter pilot ejected safely.

The lawsuit says the air traffic controller failed to act urgently enough to have the fighter avoid the smaller plane.

Attorney Jim Brauchle says the family of the victims feels forgotten. He says six months of negotiations have failed to reach an agreement with the federal government.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com

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