Blown Tire May Be Catalyst For Recent Celebrity Jet Crash

accidentBy Mary Montserrat-Howlett

Columbia, SC (RUSHPRNEWS) 09/22/2008-The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has asserted that a “tire blowout” could have been the catalyst for the jet crash that killed four people and seriously injured celebrities, DJ AM (Adam Goldstein) and Travis Barker, last Friday. The crash occurred only moments before take-off at the Columbia Metropolitain Airport in Columbia, South Carolina en route Van Nuys, California. Doctors announced at a press conference in Augusta, Georgia on Sunday, that the DJ and drummer were in critical condition, suffering extensive burns, but are expected to make full recoveries.

The pilot and co-pilot said they heard a tire burst and tried to abort take-off. “The crew attempted to reject the takeoff but was unable to stop the aircraft before it departed the runway” NTSB spokeswoman Debbie Hersman told Associated Press.The Learjet 60 was trying to take off at 11:53 p.m. on Friday. When the plane skidded off the end of the 8,600-foot runway, it crashed through light towers and a tumult of antennas, killing pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31; co-pilot James Bland, 52; passenger Chris Baker, 29, Travis Barker’s personal assistant and Charles Still, 25, security guard for the musicians.

An eyewitness told NBC that he saw “a fireball crossing the road near the airport and then realized it was a plane.” He saw jet fuel shoot out across the roadway and then saw two men, who were both on fire, patting each other down to extinguish the flames. The men were later on identified as Adam Goldstein and Travis Barker. Barker was burned on his torso and lower body, while DJ AM was burned on his arms and a portion of his head. Both remain in the intensive care unit of Georgia’s burn center.

The crash site was left intact until the NTSB could perform its initial survey. Scheduled airline service was cancelled for the 20th, affecting approximately 400 passengers.

E! Online reported on Saturday that the 11-seat jet had flown without incident less than one hour before the crash, traveling from Teterboro, New Jersey, to Columbia and arriving at 11:08 p.m. “Something must have gone wrong on the ground,” an unidentified FAA source told the site. “It appears the plane had no mechanical issues.” The jet had recently made flights to California, Arizona, New Jersey and Kansas.

Sources:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080921/ap_en_mu/learjet_crash
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1595303/20080920/barker__travis.jhtml
http://bittenandbound.com/2008/09/20/travis-barker-dj-am-plane-crash-photos-and-update/

About the author: Montreal-based Mary Montserrrat-Howlett is a regular contributor to Rush PR News.
Her writing career took off two years ago, with articles predominantly dealing with minority rights in the workplace. She has a vested interest in social issues and in her spare time, enjoys to work on a series of short stories and scripts.  You may write her at MaryMH@rushprnews.com