California Professor and Philanthropist Dies in Small Plane Crash

christina-sicoli-19892-copy-300x212William Sachs Goldman, 38, passed away in July after his small personal aircraft crashed for an unknown reason. Goldman was an assistant professor of international studies at the University of San Francisco. He was the son of Richard Goldman and Susan Sachs Goldman, and the grandson of well-known philanthropists Richard N. and Rhoda Goldman, who established the Goldman Environmental Prize. As a member of a philanthropic family, Goldman and his wife were on numerous institution’s boards.

Small Plane Accident to be Investigated

Goldman was one of four passengers in the single-engine Cirrus SR22 plane, which crashed in a field in Schell Vista, southwest of Sonoma Skypark Airport. Goldman’s two minor children, George and Marie, and their caretaker, Valeria Anselmi, were the other passengers. They were all taken to local hospitals to treat their serious injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash. These two agencies and professionals from the airplane and engine manufacturers will conduct a thorough analysis of the crash site to begin their investigation. It is estimated that the entire investigation into what led to the crash could take six months to one year.

Small Plane Accidents in California

Aviation accidents are overall rare. Commercial flights do not usually crash or make emergency landings; you simply hear a great deal about it when they do. However, when planes do crash, it is almost small aircrafts. Small, personal plans that carry only the pilot or a few passengers are much more likely to be involved in a crash than larger aircraft. These accidents are also likely to lead to injuries and fatalities.

Common causes of small aircraft crashes include:

  • Inadequate pilot training
  • Pilot inexperience
  • Pilot error, including flying into terrain
  • Electrical or mechanical failure
  • Running out of fuel
  • Flying in bad weather
  • Wildlife
  • Defective parts
  • Defective designs

Recovering Compensation After a Small Plane Crash

For victims of a small plane crash or their families, recovering compensation may not be what they want to do, but what they need to do. It can be a particularly difficult situation if the pilot was a relative or family friend and was at fault for the crash. Victims may have to file personal injury claims against loved ones or acquaintances, seeking compensation for their:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

Families who lost individuals in plane crashes may need to file wrongful death suits, asking for compensation for their:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of emotional support and companionship

However, pilots are not always at fault for small plane crashes. Many other issues could have gone wrong and a maintenance provider, owner, manufacturer, seller, or another party could be liable for compensating the victims of a crash.

Contact Brod Law Firm Today

If you were injured in a small plane crash or your parent, spouse, or child lost their life, contact an experienced California personal injury attorney from Brod Law Firm right away. We will review your situation, explain your rights, and help you move forward with next steps.  

(image courtesy of Christina Sicoli)