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Records show settlement in 2007 NASCAR plane crash

Records show settlement in 2007 NASCAR plane crash

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SANFORD, Fla. -- NASCAR has verbally agreed to a settlement in the death of a pilot killed when a company plane crashed in central Florida last year, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported today.

A handwritten document in the court file of NASCAR pilot Michael Klemm noted a $2.4 million "wrongful death claim approved," according to records viewed by the newspaper this week before they were sealed.

Klemm and Dr. Bruce Kennedy, husband of International Speedway Corp. President Lesa France Kennedy, died when their twin-engine plane crashed into a neighborhood in Sanford, in suburban Orlando, on July 10, 2007. The crash ignited a blaze that killed three people in two houses.

NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston told the newspaper that a settlement was in the works but he did not know its details. The attorney for Klemm's widow, Eric Latinsky, and three sons told the newspaper he and NASCAR officials had agreed to keep the settlement confidential.

Latinsky said the purpose of the settlement "was to make sure the Klemm children could continue their education and be taken care of."

The agreement would allow the family to make other claims toward some of the manufacturers of the plane's parts, but not NASCAR and its affiliates, Latinsky said.

Latinsky did not return telephone and e-mail messages left for him by The Associated Press today.

The Klemms' sons are 18, 21 and 23, court documents show.

Both Klemm, 56, and Kennedy, 54, were pilots, and it remains unclear who was flying the plane.

A NASCAR report concluded that fumes from an electrical fire incapacitated the two men. The cockpit filled with smoke, according to a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Federal investigators have not published their final report on the crash.

The plane en route from Daytona Beach to Lakeland, a 100-mile trip.


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