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Wrongful death suit filed in Acton helicopter crash

Posted: May 30, 2013 12:00 p.m.
Updated: May 30, 2013 12:00 p.m.

The mother of a man killed when a helicopter crashed during a reality television shoot in Acton is suing the aircraft’s operators and producers behind the show.

Darren Rydstrom of Whittier was one of three people killed when the Bell 206B Jetranger helicopter crashed during an early morning flight on Feb. 10 at Polsa Rosa Ranch, which was used in “Windtalkers” and the remake of “Red Dawn.”

Rydstrom’s mother’s wrongful death suit was filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Also killed in the crash was the pilot, David Gene Gibbs of Valencia, and Michael William Donatelli, 45, of Indiana, Pa.
The men were filming a scene for an untitled military-themed show being produced for the Discovery Channel, which is not named in the lawsuit.

The case’s defendants are Van Nuys Copters and Orbic Air, the companies responsible for the lease of the helicopters; the estate of pilot Gibbs; and reality television producers J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson.

Phone messages left for the defendants were not immediately returned Thursday.




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