Guardian Flight settles over deadly 2019 medevac crash

Signs remember Guardian Flight crew members Patrick Coyle and Margaret Langston during a memorial service on Friday, June 7, 2019. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)
Signs remember Guardian Flight crew members Patrick Coyle and Margaret Langston during a memorial service on Friday, June 7, 2019. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

A Utah-based medevac company has settled a wrongful death lawsuit over a 2019 air ambulance crash in Southeast Alaska that killed three crew members from Juneau.

Dylan Listberger of Juneau sued Guardian Flight over the death of his 30-year-old fiancée Stacie Rae Morse, a flight nurse who was 27 weeks pregnant at the time, according to the lawsuit filed earlier this year.

“The parties are happy to have the lawsuit concluded,” Sheldon Winters, the Juneau attorney who filed the suit on behalf of Listberger, wrote in an email to CoastAlaska. “The settlement terms are confidential.”

The twin-engine King Air turboprop was en route to the village of Kake to pick up a patient the evening of January 29, 2019. But federal investigators say during its approach it inexplicably veered to the right and dropped more than 2,500 feet in just 14 seconds.

It hit the water at high speed destroying the aircraft.

The bodies of 63-year-old pilot Patrick Coyle; 43-year-old paramedic Margaret Langston and Morse were never found. And investigators never established a cause for the crash.

The original lawsuit sought more than $100,000 for gross negligence against the company. But court filings on Wednesday indicate that the parties have settled for an undisclosed sum.

A spokesperson for Guardian Flight declined to comment “due to legal and confidentiality reasons.”

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