An Oregon family that survived a July 31 Aeromexico airplane crash is taking the airline and its partner Delta Air Lines to court, alleging they were negligent in decisions pilots made that day.
Colleen McCormick, her husband Donald Hudson, and their four children were on Aeromexico Flight 2431 from Durango to Mexico City when a storm moved into the area.
Angel Hudson, who was on the Aeromexico flight with her dad, stepmom, and siblings, told Portland, Oregon’s KOIN News that the plane taxied on the runway and stopped.
Ms. Hudson said she thought the plane was going to wait out the severe weather and was surprised when they started to take off. She told KOIN that “it felt wrong. Everything about it was just rocky and shaky,” she said.
Just as soon as the plane lifted it off it slammed back down on the ground, then lifted again and came back down even harder. The plane continued to bounce violently until flames blew into the plane, incinerating part of the bulkhead and engulfing several passengers, Mr. Hudson told The Oregonian.
The Aeromexico plane had crashed in a field near Durango International Airport. Although several passengers and crew were injured in the crash, all 103 people survived the crash and ensuing fire that consumed the plane.
The family escaped the plane crash relatively unscathed except for Dr. McCormick, who sustained extensive injuries, including a deep puncture wound to her face, a broken nose, and a concussion.
The family’s lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Portland, seeks damages from Delta and Aeromexico for pain and suffering, physical and emotional distress, post-traumatic stress, and economic losses resulting from surgery, hospitalization, and medical treatment.
Ms. Hudson told KOIN that she felt “it was a very, very careless decision” for the Aeromexico pilots to take off in the severe weather.
“The only reason everybody survived is because we weren’t high enough in the air for the crash to be fatal,” she told KOIN. “So when people say the pilots were heroes, I just scoff. If they were heroes they wouldn’t have taken off in the beginning.”
In a statement published by KOIN, Colleen McCormick said:
“We are so thankful for our lives, but the emotional scarring and fear will take time to overcome. Whenever you get on a plane, you have no choice but to trust that the airline, pilots and the crew will do everything in their power to make sure you will make it to your destinations. Unfortunately for our family, and all the other passengers who were on Flight 2431, the airlines’ poor decisions risked our lives. No one should have to go through what we went through. Hopefully, this lawsuit will force the airlines to take a closer look at what should have been done, including what safety reviews Delta should have conducted with its code-share foreign airlines.”