Damschroder estate, Lions Club sued over Fremont plane crash

FREMONT Two family members of people killed in the June 8 plane crash in Fremont have filed a lawsuit in Lucas County
Sarah Weber
May 24, 2010

FREMONT

Two family members of people killed in the June 8 plane crash in Fremont have filed a lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Charles Gerwin, whose wife, Danielle, 31, and daughter, Emily, 4, died in the crash, and James Clearman, whose son Matt, 25, died in the crash, filed the suit this week against a slew of defendants.

Among those named are David Damschroder, executor of 86-year-old pilot Gene Damschroder’s estate, Damschroder Sales Co., the International Association of Lions Clubs, the Fremont Noon Lions Club and six Fremont Lions Club members.

In the suit, Gerwin and Clearman seek damages from the wrongful death of their loved ones, citing the preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, which states the plane was not operating on its flight plan and witnesses said it was flying too low. According to the NTSB synopsis, preliminary reports could contain errors that will be corrected in the final report. A final report has not yet been filed.

Damschroder, a former member of the Ohio House, was flying the plane as part of the annual Lions Club Fly-in Breakfast.

The plane was also carrying Bill Ansted, the husband of Barbara Ansted, the Sandusky County Common Pleas Court judge, her daughter, Allison Ansted, 23, of Lindsay; Allison’s fiancé, Matt Clearman of Maumee; and the Gerwins of Gibsonburg.

The crash occurred at about 1 p.m. in a grassy field in the southern part of the city. It was the only wide-open space in the vicinity, giving authorities reason to believe that’s why Damschroder decided to land there. Damschroder was an experienced pilot who had flown since World War II, when he served as a Navy pilot.

The plane was flying from the west after taking off at the Fremont Progress Airport. The crash left the plane in pieces.