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Guard Pilot Sues Idaho For $3 Million

SUNDAY, JAN. 4, 1998

An Idaho National Guardsman severely injured in a helicopter crash during 1997 flood rescue efforts has filed a $3 million claim against the state.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shelby Wuthrich of Boise said he is entitled to the damage because of negligence.

Wuthrich suffered a back injury, broken bones, burns and other injuries when the Kiowa helicopter crashed near Blackfoot on June 19.

Major Don Baxter of Boise, a passenger, and pilot 1st Lt. Will Neal of Picabo, were killed.

Wuthrich’s tort claim does not spell out negligent acts by the state, Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Jim Ball said Friday.

“At this point, our position is the state was not negligent,” he said.

State officials will decide whether to settle the claim or deny it. If they reject it, Wuthrich can file suit.

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