US Air Crash: Ogunbanjo’s family sues Orbic Air, demands damages to defray burial expenses, others


The family of the late former Chairman of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, has dragged the US helicopter company, Orbic Air, to court over the February 9 crash which killed Access Bank boss, Herbert Wigwe and others at Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, U.S.A.

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial for Ogunbanjo’s burial expenses, funeral expenses, and other damages.

Besides Wigwe, others who lost their lives in the crash were his wife, Doreen Chizoba, and son Chizi, along with the former group chairman of Nigeria’s Stock Exchange,  Abimola Ogunbanjo.

The Ogunbanjo family is claiming that the charter company, Orbic Air, improperly flew the helicopter despite a “wintry mix” of snowy and rainy conditions in the Mojave Desert where the crash occurred on Feb. 9, the Press Enterprise reports.

The Ogunbanjos are contending that the flight should have been grounded because of treacherous weather.

One of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, Andrew C. Robb, noted Ogunbanjo’s family is seeking “answers and accountability.”

“Helicopters do not do very well in snow and ice,” Robb told The Associated Press.

“This flight was entirely preventable, and we don’t know why they took off.”

Ogunbanjo’s wife and two children have filed a lawsuit in San Bernardino County Superior Court against Orbic Air and its CEO, Brady Bowers, alleging wrongful death and negligence.

The suit also includes the unidentified successors of Pettingill and Hansen, whom Ogunbanjo’s family holds responsible.

Orbic Air did not provide any comment on the matter.

The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the crash.

A preliminary investigation report released by the agency in February revealed details about the helicopter’s flight path and wreckage.

Witnesses reported observing a “fireball” during rainy and snowy conditions at the time of the crash.

Robb & Robb, the law firm representing Ogunbanjo’s family, previously represented Vanessa Bryant in her lawsuit following Kobe Bryant’s fatal helicopter crash in 2020.

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