Navy compensating those affected by Va. jet crash

Apr 9, 2012, 8:09 PM

Associated Press

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) – A slew of residents who lost their homes after a Navy jet crashed into their apartment complex began picking up government checks on Monday to help them pay for food, clothing and housing over the next two weeks as they try to figure out where they’ll live.

Dozens of apartment units were destroyed or evacuated Friday when the F/A-18D Hornet careened into the Mayfair Mews apartment complex shortly after taking off from nearby Naval Air Station Oceana. Several people were injured, but nobody died when the plane slammed into the apartment complex’s empty courtyard. Residents fled burning and damaged homes with few belongings, and fire officials worked Monday to help those who lived in undamaged homes retrieve medications and critical documents. Vehicles that had been towed away from the apartment complex were also being returned to residents.

The Navy said the crash was caused by a catastrophic mechanical malfunction, although a detailed investigation to pinpoint the exact cause is ongoing. Normal flight operations at Oceana resumed on Monday and the Navy said it sent the downed aircraft’s flight incident recorder to be examined in Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The Navy said most of the aircraft debris at the apartment complex would be removed by the end of the week.

Navy officials estimate that about 63 people living in 46 units were affected by the crash. Initial payments started at $2,300 for individual residents, with more going to those with families. Many apartment complex residents spent the weekend with family and friends and weren’t sure what they planned to do for long-term housing.

“I’ve been on my own for 38 or 39 years, and it’s very difficult to not have your own belongings and your own home and watch your TV. This friend that I’m staying with, she said I’m not imposing. But you know, you feel like you are,” said 79-year-old evacuated apartment complex resident Joanie Coleman.

Coleman said her apartment wasn’t destroyed by the crash, but she’s unsure if she’ll ever be able to return to it. She said she’s considering moving to Swansea, Ill., where her daughter lives, though she would prefer to stay in Virginia Beach.

“The friend I’m staying with said I can’t believe I haven’t cried,” she said. “I said, `Look. I lived through the war in England, and if I can live through that I can live through anything.'”

Much of Coleman’s decision on whether to move will depend on how much compensation she’ll get from the Navy. Navy officials have already started distributing forms for those who want to file a legal claim against the government for property damage and injuries, among other things.

Caroline Walker, a Mayfair Mews resident who was at the Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training Academy to pick up her check, said she was still very upset about the plane crash but said she wasn’t sure what legal recourse she might seek.

“I can’t think beyond five minutes from now,” she said.

Residents have up to two years to make those claims.

“We’re here for the long haul,” said Capt. Bob Geis, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Oceana.

Geis said the initial money being distributed Monday was meant to be a short-term fix, but some residents could receive more. He said that would be decided on a case-by-case basis. He said he didn’t have any estimates on how much the displacement services had cost so far.

“Everyone that I’ve talked to has been absolutely gracious and we want to make sure we’re going to do everything in our power that we have the legal ability to do to take care of the folks that have been displaced by this,” Geis said.

___

Online: Brock Vergakis can be reached at
http://twitter.com/BrockVergakis

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE -  A Goodyear tire sits on display at a tire shop on Feb. 12, 2014, in South Euclid, Ohio. A f...
Associated Press

Arizona lawyer subpoenaed in criminal investigation of Goodyear tires

A federal grand jury in Los Angeles is gathering evidence in a criminal investigation of Goodyear recreational vehicle tires.
1 day ago
Following days of rain, floodwaters cover streets in the Planada community of Merced County, Calif....
Associated Press

Atmospheric rivers in California boost water allocation for cities

Public water agencies in California will be getting more water from the state because of recent heavy rain.
1 day ago
(Brian Munoz/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)...
Associated Press

FDA declines to regulate CBD; calls on Congress for fix

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday there are too many unknowns about CBD products to regulate them as foods or supplements under the agency’s current structure and called on Congress to create new rules for the massive and growing market. The marijuana-derived products have become increasingly popular in lotions, tinctures and foods, while their […]
1 day ago
FILE - An employee works in the battery assembly hall at the BMW Spartanburg plant in Greer, S.C., ...
Associated Press

US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with momentum despite the pressure of high interest rates and widespread fears of a looming recession. Thursday’s estimate from the Commerce Department showed that the nation’s gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic output — […]
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)...
Associated Press

Pope Francis discusses his health, critics and future of papacy

In his first interview since the death of retired Pope Benedict XVI, Francis tells The Associated Press he plans to continue for as long as he can as bishop of Rome
2 days ago
Eric Sham visits a makeshift memorial on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 for those killed in a mass shoot...
Associated Press

US Secret Service releases report on mass attacks

A new report on mass attacks calls for communities to intervene early when they see warning signs of violence.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Navy compensating those affected by Va. jet crash