Inquest opens into death of Penwortham aid worker Sam Pegram killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash

A pre-Inquest review hearing into the deaths of three Britons killed in the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash has taken place.

By Sean Gleaves
Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 2:34 pm

Samuel Pegram, 25, was one of three Brits killed in the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash on March 10, 2019.

He worked for the Norwegian Refugee Council and was on his way to Nairobi when the Boeing 737 Max 8 came down shortly after take-off.

The three inquests are in relation to the deaths of Mr Pegram, Joanna Toole, 36, from Exmouth who was an international consultant to the UN, and Oliver Vick, 45, who was deputy chief of the UNSOM Joint Operations Crisis Management Centre in Mogadishu, Somalia.

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Samuel Pegram (pictured) tragically diedin the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash.

The pre-inquest review, conducted by Penelope Schofield, the Senior Coroner for West Sussex, included consideration of the scope and timing of the Inquests. No final decisions were made yesterday (August 11) and a further pre-inquest review has been listed for January 13, 2021.

The relatives and loved ones of all of those killed are represented in the inquest proceedings by Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Aviation Law team. The team also represents these families and others in court proceedings against Boeing in Chicago, USA, working with US lawyers.

Clive Garner represented the families at yesterday's hearing and is one of the Irwin Mitchell team representing the families.

He said after the hearing: "All of our clients remain devastated by the loss of their loved ones in the most terrible of circumstances. They continue to have significant concerns about how the events leading up to this tragedy unfolded. They have a shared determination to understand why it was that the Boeing 737 Max was permitted to fly despite the aircraft’s significant safety issues and especially after the Lion Air disaster.

"Our clients are keen to support and assist the Coroner with her investigations. At the same time, we are continuing to discover more through the ongoing investigations within the Court proceedings in the US against Boeing and the proceedings of the House Committee of Transportation. This includes Boeing’s disclosure of tens of thousands of documents within the litigation process so far.

"We will continue to support the families through the inquest proceedings, while also progressing their civil claims in the US courts."

A total of 157 passengers and crew were killed when flight ET302 crashed six minutes after it took off from Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, en route to Nairobi in Kenya.

The crash occurred after another 737 Max operated by Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea in October 2018 killing all 189 passengers and crew.

Speaking of the developments in the US, Clive Garner added: "It is of no comfort to anyone who tragically lost a loved one, but from what has been established so far this is likely to be a pivotal case for aviation safety and regulation, and greater scrutiny of the relationship between regulators and the airlines themselves.

"It is vital that lessons are learned from the mistakes of the past."

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