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U.S. admits fault in deadly Moncks Corner plane collision

By Maurice T. Miller, News 2 Charleston

The federal government admitted its employees were at fault in a deadly mid-air collision between an Air Force F-16 and Cessna aircraft in Moncks Corner.

The collision happened in 2015 shortly after a Michael Johnson, 68, and his son Joseph, 30, took off from the Berkeley County Airport in a Cessna 150M toward North Myrtle Beach.

Minutes after takeoff, the Cessna was struck by an F-16 that had been cleared to land at Charleston International Airport.  According to a lawsuit filed by the Johnson family against the government, the collision sliced the Cessna in half, causing it to crash.

Michael and Joseph Johnson were killed as a result of the crash.

The Johnson family sued the government, claiming air traffic controllers failed to take the appropriate actions that would have prevented the collision.

On Thursday, the government responded to the allegations, acknowledging that the actions of its employees caused the accident.  However, the United States did contest the existence, type and sum of damages available to the plaintiffs.

The Johnson family is seeking damages for wrongful death, mental anguish and funeral expenses.

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