Local News

Pilot In Franklin 'Copter Crash Suit Wants Name Removed

Posted August 26, 2005

— One of the defendants in a bank lawsuit involving Franklin County's sheriff and a helicopter that crashed last year has filed court papers to get his name off the lawsuit.

In April, Tennessee-based Citizens bank filed a lawsuit against Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones and pilot Ben Barrick. The bank, which loaned the sheriff's office $80,000 for a helicopter, claimed Jones and others submitted fraudulent paperwork to secure the loan.

Barrick claims it was the bank's own negligence to make the loan. According to the paperwork, Barrick claims the bank failed to get all the facts and also blames Jones for any misinformation regarding the loan.

Last spring, Barrick was the pilot of a helicopter that crashed while doing surveillance work for the sheriff's office. Deputy Ted Horton was killed in the accident.

An investigation into the crash by the National Transportation Safety Board reported that Barrick could not prove he had training to fly the helicopter. It also showed the chopper was not in the best flying condition.

After the NTSB's report was published, Citizens Bank sued Franklin County, the sheriff's office, Jones and Barrick. The county has since been cleared.

In all, Barrick lists 14 reasons why he should not have to repay the bank. He also asks the bank to pay the legal fees for his defense.


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