Five lawsuits settled in Carteret County plane crash that killed 8 people

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 11:57 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 1:18 PM EST
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BEAUFORT, N.C. (WITN) - The families of five people killed nearly a year ago in a Carteret County plane crash have settled their wrongful death lawsuits against the owner of the plane and the companies that employed the pilot.

Eight people, including four East Carteret High School students, died in the February 13th crash as the group was returning from a duck hunting trip in Hyde County. The Pilatus PC-12/47 plane, headed for the Beaufort airport, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

In paperwork filed Thursday at the Carteret County Clerk of Courts Office, five different lawsuits filed against the companies and the plane’s owner were dismissed. The paperwork says the defendants agreed to settle the claims in exchange for $15 million.

The lawsuits claimed that the pilot, Ernest “Teen” Rawls, of Greenville, disregarded air traffic controllers’ instructions and flew into restricted airspace.

Named in the five lawsuits were Rawls’ estate, EDP Management Group LLC, and Green Assets, Inc., both of Wilmington. Still unresolved are five lawsuits against Dillon’s Aviation of Greenville.

Killed in the crash were:

  • Ernest “Teen” Rawls, 67, Greenville, pilot
  • Jeffrey Rawls, 28, Greenville
  • Stephanie Fulcher, 42, Sea Level
  • Jonathan “Kole” McInnis, 15, Sea Level
  • Douglas “Hunter” Parks, 45, Sea Level
  • Noah Styron, 15, Cedar Island
  • Michael “Daily” Shepherd, 15, Atlantic
  • Jacob “Jake” Taylor, 16, Atlantic

The estates of Fulcher, McInnis, Shepherd, Styron, & Taylor filed the lawsuits back in May.

The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to complete its investigation into the crash.