Sandon pilot to be charged with manslaughter over Shoreham air crash deaths

PUBLISHED: 07:55 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 07:55 22 March 2018

Sandon pilot Andy Hill is to be charged with manslaughter by gross negligence.

Sandon pilot Andy Hill is to be charged with manslaughter by gross negligence.

Archant

A pilot from Sandon is to be charged in relation to deaths of 11 people, who died when his vintage aircraft crashed into stationary traffic on a dual carriageway in West Sussex during the Shoreham Air Show.

Andy Hill was performing in an aerobatics display on August 22 2015 when the Hawker Hunter jet crashed and burst into a ball of flames on the nearby A27 – 11 men died and 13 people were injured.

The 53-year-old is to be charged with 11 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence and one count of endangering an aircraft.

Reviewing lawyer Simon Ringrose, from the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has considered a full file of evidence received from Sussex Police in relation to the deaths of 11 men at the Shoreham Air Show in 2015.

“At approximately 1.20pm on 22 August 2015, a Hawker Hunter aircraft piloted by Andrew Hill attempted to perform a loop manoeuvre as part of an aerobatic display.

“The aircraft failed to complete the manoeuvre and crashed onto the A27 dual carriageway. Eleven men who were either in vehicles on the carriageway or standing by the roadside were killed in the incident.

“Mr Hill was thrown clear of the aircraft and although seriously injured he survived.

“Sussex Police conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into the incident and in November 2017 submitted a full file of evidence to the CPS in relation to the actions of the pilot, Andrew Hill. In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, I have considered whether there is sufficient evidence to charge Mr Hill with any offence and if so whether it is in the public interest to do so.

“Following a careful review of the evidence I have found there is sufficient evidence to charge Andrew Hill with the manslaughter by gross negligence of the 11 men who died. I have also authorised a further charge against Mr Hill of endangering an aircraft, contrary to Article 137 of the Air Navigation Order 2009.

“Mr Hill will be formally charged with the offences and will appear before the courts in due course.

“I would like to remind all concerned that criminal proceedings have now commenced and the defendant has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Mr Hill is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on April 19.

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