NEWS

Canada's Ryder Hesjedal gets boost from family

05/26/2012 09:14 EDT | Updated 07/26/2012 05:12 EDT

The families of three passengers killed in a May 2010 float plane crash off Vancouver Island are suing for damages in B.C. Supreme Court.

Samantha Mattersdorf, Edward Sam and his sister Katrina Sam-English hired the Cessna for the 20-kilometre, six-minute flight from Tofino to the native community of Ahousat.

The plane nosedived into the water not long after takeoff, killing all three passengers and pilot Damon York on impact.

A Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded the passengers were likely the reason the airplane crashed.

and were arguing before they got on the aircraft.

They also took several bottles of liquor and a case of beer case aboard the plane after a water-taxi refused to take them to Ahousat, where alcohol is banned.

The TSB report said the position of the pilot’s seat suggested someone was kicking York from behind, likely pushing him into the instrument panel and forcing the plane into a dive.

The passengers' families filed suit this week against York's estate and the plane’s owner, Atleo River Air.

Two of the claims said the company failed to ensure the passengers were not impaired by alcohol or drugs and that York failed to wear a shoulder harness, "so as to prevent being jammed into the control panel."

The company did not return CBC News request for comment Friday.

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