Lawsuit Filed Against Newport Mayor For July Plane Crash

Jul 31, 2019

A lawsuit has been filed against Newport’s mayor, following a July 8th plane crash.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, Mayor Dean Sawyer was the pilot.

Mayor Dean Sawyer's single-engine plane (Cessna 172 Skyhawk II) after it crashed near the North Jetty stretch of Newport's beach.
Credit Steve Vogel / Lincoln City Homepage

A previous report from the Oregon State Police said Sawyer noticed a mechanical problem while flying over the Depoe Bay area, and chose to do an emergency landing near the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.

But one of his two passengers, 61-year-old Deborah Reasoner, alleges that Sawyer failed to both maintain control and adequate fuel levels, leading to the crash. She is seeking more than a million dollars in damages, citing emotional distress as well as physical injuries that led to her hospitalization in Portland.

Neither Sawyer nor Reasoner’s attorney returned calls requesting comment for this story.  Lincoln County Circuit Court records show Judge Sheryl Bachart has been assigned the case.

Another passenger, a 7-year-old boy, was also in the plane. Like Sawyer, he was released with minor injuries after the incident. 

Officials say Mayor Sawyer has been a licensed pilot for forty years.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.