Covering Louisiana

Aug 23, 2011 12:12 PM by AP

Attorney dies after plane crash

HOUMA, La. (AP) - A Houma attorney has died in an Oregon hospital after crashing his single-engine aircraft into a group of trees.

Authorities say 63-year-old Louis St. Martin, a longtime maritime and personal injury attorney, was flying a single-engine, four-seat Maule aircraft alone shortly after noon Sunday over Brookings, Ore. when he crashed into a set of trees behind a home. The plane then fell into a ravine.

The Courier (http://bit.ly/qGZZWg) reports that St. Martin was unconscious when rescuers got to him following the accident

St. Martin taken to Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City, Calif., with spinal and other injuries. He was later transported to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, where he died at 4:06 a.m. Tuesday, his brother, Michael St. Martin said.

The plane was destroyed in the crash, according to a report from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Tealeye Cornejo, air-safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the circumstances surrounding the crash are unknown and the crash is still under investigation. Michael St. Martin, a prominent Houma trial lawyer, said weather apparently played a part in the crash; there was a lot of fog in the area.

It will take up to one year to complete the investigation into the crash and release the report, Cornejo said.

St. Martin had gone to Oregon to pick up his recently purchased plane and fly it back to Houma, said Michael St. Martin. His brother has flown for many years and is experienced in the air with both planes and helicopters, he said.

"It's common for Louis. He's done this so many times before, I'm sure he felt capable of doing it this time," Michael St. Martin said.

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