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Reno Air Crash Death Toll is 10 after Reno Air Race

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on September 19, 2011 12:29 PM

A tenth person has died as a result of the devastating accident at the Reno Air Race over the weekend, with officials reporting at least another 70 injuries ranging from minor to serious.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), tasked with investigating such accidents, is currently at the site of the Reno air crash. It is raising questions about the medical history of veteran stuntman pilot Jimmy Leeward, his modified World War II-era P-51 Mustang fighter plane, and the safety of air races in general.

Did the pilot lose consciousness prior to the crash, as an ABC consultant has suggested? Thus far, NTSB officials have only noted that Leeward's age and health may have been a factor in the crash.

A recording system, including a video camera, recovered by investigators will be essential in making that determination. Plus, witnesses reportedly saw a piece of metal drop off the back of the plane, ABC reports.

What is more, a YouTube video posted prior to the Reno Air Race depicts Jimmy Leeward explaining the plane's modifications, adding in that "the systems aren't proven yet."

Though he also died as a result of the Reno air crash, this statement alone could conceivably lead to liability for his estate, as he can be held posthumously responsible for negligent acts.

It could also lead to liability for race organizers, as they arguably have a duty to ensure the safety of all planes.

Only time will reveal what caused the Reno air crash, but in the meantime, you can be sure that there are lawsuits already in the works.

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