Ewingar, Yates Crossing, on the Clarence River, where SES and Police divers were trying to retrieve the plane that crashed on Saturday 12 April. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star
Ewingar, Yates Crossing, on the Clarence River, where SES and Police divers were trying to retrieve the plane that crashed on Saturday 12 April. Photo : Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Pilot charged over death of Murwillumbah girl

A PILOT has been charged with manslaughter over the plane crash which killed an 11-year-old Murwillumbah girl.

About 11am on Saturday April 12, emergency services were called to Ewingar Ridge Rd, Ewingar, responding to reports of a light plane crashing into the Clarence River.

The pilot of the Maule M-5, a 53-year-old man, and a male passenger, 35, freed themselves from the plane, but the 35-year-old's daughter, Kayla Whitten, remained trapped.

The girl died at the scene.

Her father and the pilot were treated in Lismore Base Hospital for serious injuries.

Kayla Whitten was remembered by family and friends 

Richmond LAC police established Strike Force Vavin to investigate the incident and were assisted by the Police Air Wing and Civil Aviation Safety Authority. 

The Goonengerry pilot was charged at Lismore Police Station on Wednesday morning for manslaughter, recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, endangering the life of another person and flying an aircraft below 500 feet. 

He will appear in Lismore Local Court on October 7. 


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