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South Dakota mourns one of its worst aviation accidents

Aviation is a way of life in South Dakota and other grand states with big distances to cover. Few things are more terrifying than the prospect of a plane and its passengers falling out of the air. The physics involved with the speed and the heights make catastrophic injuries or fatalities almost inevitable.

The Mount Rushmore State continues to mourn one of the worst accidents in the region's history of local flights after a plane bound for neighboring Idaho crashed near the town of Chamberlain in Brule County. Nine people died in the disaster, with another three fighting for their lives at a hospital in Sioux Falls. Early reports show weather may have been a factor.

"This has really shook us to our core," said an aviation professor with South Dakota State University. "This is by far the most deadly event that I've seen in South Dakota in my time. Anytime we're teaching students to take off in these weather conditions we always want to take a step back and look at the big picture to determine if it's the right time to go."

Investigators with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continue to investigate the accident. The aviation professor also implied that ice on the wings may have inhibited the pilot's abilities to control the craft if its hangar was not properly heated the night before the flight.

It is nearly unthinkable to assign a cash value to a life or even an injury that requires a long period of recovery. But financial damages can help the victims of catastrophic accidents and the survivors of those killed in them if liability can be shown to rest with a person or organization in a court of law. Questions about this possibility can often best be answered by a lawyer.

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