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Family awarded Marine jet crash settlement

Millions of dollars in compensation were awarded to a family that lost four of its loved ones in a military jet crash.
December 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Millions of dollars in compensation were awarded to a family that lost four of its loved ones in a military jet crash.

It was on December 8, 2008, when a Marine Corps fighter plane plunged into a San Diego home. The pilot bailed out safely.

The crash was blamed on mechanical trouble and poor decisions by the pilot and ground personnel.

Don Yoon lost his 36-year-old wife, his two infant daughters and his mother-in-law.

Yoon and other surviving family members were awarded $17.8 million by a federal judge. The family had asked for $56 million.

Yoon said in a statement that Miller's ruling was "thoughtful, reasoned and just." Yoon broke down crying throughout his testimony, which came three years to the day when he buried his wife and baby girls in the same casket. He told the judge he only looks forward to the day when he can join them.

"Our family is relieved this part of the process is over, but no sum of money will ever make up for the loss of our loved ones," he said.

The Marine Corps has said the plane suffered a mechanical failure but a series of bad decisions led the pilot - a student - to bypass a potentially safe landing at a coastal Navy base after his engine failed on Dec. 8, 2008. The pilot ejected and told investigators he screamed in horror as he watched the jet plow into the neighborhood, incinerating two homes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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