Family of student killed in plane crash sues frat, others

CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) – The family of one of the four college students killed in the crash of a small plane last year is suing the plane’s owner, the estate of the student pilot and a fraternity.

The parents of Abraham Pishevar II, 18, of Rockville, Maryland, claim the flight he and three other students took on the night of Aug. 25, 2014, was part of recruitment efforts by the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

The Cessna Model 172R crashed minutes after takeoff from Cuyahoga County Airport, killing Pishevar, William Felten, 19, of Saginaw, Michigan; Lucas Marcelli, 20, of Massillon; and John Hill, 18, of St. Simons, Georgia.

The wrongful death lawsuit seeks at least $75,000 in damages and was filed Oct. 22 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. It claims Felten reserved the plane two hours in advance as part of “rush,” referring to the period when fraternities and sororities recruit new members.

A statement from the Indianapolis-based fraternity called the lawsuit “meritless” and says the flight was not connected to rush.

The lawsuit also claims the flight club and its owner, Laurence Rohl, didn’t inspect the plane properly or maintain it adequately before allowing Felten to fly it. Felten trained to get his pilot’s license a year earlier. The suit says he should have known he was not skilled or capable of flying the plane safely.

The attorney listed for the plane’s owner and the T&G Flying Club didn’t return calls.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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