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Orange County Digest

Local News in Brief : Tustin : Settlement Offered in Helicopter Death Suit

November 18, 1987

The wife and child of a civilian observer killed in a March collision between two police helicopters over Irvine has been offered at least $800,000 under terms of an out-of-court settlement under negotiation.

Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, which operated the two helicopters, have offered to pay the wife of Jeffrey Pollard, 27, a civilian flight instructor from Tustin, the $800,000 in exchange for her dropping her $5 million claims against each city. Becky Pollard, 30, filed the claims in May.

Under the terms, Costa Mesa would pay $200,000, and the insurance carriers for the two cities would pay the rest.

Costa Mesa City Attorney Tom Wood said the settlement would not be an admission of guilt.

Pollard, unavailable for comment Tuesday, was expected to decide within a few days whether to accept the week-old offer, Wood said.

Newport Beach City Attorney Robert Burnham, who is not involved in the settlement, added: "Personally, based on what I know, I would have a problem (with paying a settlement). I don't think the Newport Beach pilot did anything wrong."

Pollard and Costa Mesa police officers James David Ketchum, 39, and John William (Mike) Libolt, 39, were killed as both aircraft were chasing a car reported stolen on March 10.

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