Miami-Dade County

Two families sue Venezuelan company after February plane crash

The widows of two men killed in a Feb. 11 plane crash near Miami Executive Airport have sued the company that owned the plane.
The widows of two men killed in a Feb. 11 plane crash near Miami Executive Airport have sued the company that owned the plane. Miami Herald File photo

The widows of two men killed in a plane crash in Southwest Miami-Dade in February are suing the Venezuelan company that owned the plane.

Attorney Mike Eidson filed two separate wrongful death lawsuits seeking in excess of $15,000 Monday in Miami-Dade circuit court: One on behalf of Yllen Colmenares, the widow of Francisco DiMarco Vegas, and one on behalf of Elisa Herrera De Vetencourt, the widow of Carlos Vetencourt De Lima.

The men were killed Feb. 11 when the Beech 1900 airplane, owned by Aeropanamericano C.A. — a Venezuelan unit of Brink’s security firm — went down two miles west of Miami Executive Airport, 12800 SW 145th Ave., and burst into flames.

The plane was headed to the Turks and Caicos to refuel before heading back to Venezuela.

At the time of the crash, Ed Cunningham, a company spokesman told the Miami Herald that the plane was being serviced for routine maintenance in Miami.

“It’s a shock to all of us,” he said at the time. “We certainly send our sympathies to his family, and the family of the others.”

Cunningham could not be reached for comment Monday about the lawsuits.

Eidson said the men were friends of the plane owner and were in South Florida visiting friends and family from Caracas. Vegas, 36, owned and operated trucks and owned a restaurant. He left behind his wife and 3-year-old son. Vetencourt De Lima, 57, was a self-employeed aeronautical engineer and left behind his wife and two sons, one 18 and one 24.

The plane he said was on a “maintenance trip,” and a not a business trip and they were “filling two empty seats.”

“The owner and the pilot bear the responsibility for the safe operation of the plane,” Eidson said. “It appears the plane may have not been air worthy.”

The National Transportation Safety Board has not yet released a full report on the crash, but a preliminary report, released a few days after the crash, showed that the left engine propeller had been overhauled prior to the doomed flight.

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