February 27, 2024

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Redefining Vigilance

Wedding guests sue groom after ‘drone crashes into their faces while dancing at ceremony’

2 min read

TWO women are suing a groom after they allege a photo drone hit them in the head as they danced in a tent.

Kneena Ellis, of Seabrook, and Kelly Eaton of Peabody, Massachusetts, claim they they suffered permanent physical and emotional injury as a result of the incident in August.

 The wedding took place at Searles Castle in Windham, New Hampshire


The wedding took place at Searles Castle in Windham, New HampshireCredit: Facebook
 Two female guests say they were hurt when the drone 'spiralled out of control'


Two female guests say they were hurt when the drone ‘spiralled out of control’Credit: Reuters

The suit claims roofer Barry Billcliff had flown the drone to take pictures at his wedding reception at Searles Castle in Windham, New Hampshire.

But it’s claimed his hovering video camera went haywire and slammed into their faces, injuring them on the dance floor under a tent.

The two women, who were friends of the couple, have also filed a negligence lawsuit against party organisers Searles Castle Event Management, Inc.

Ms Eaton says the rogue drone fractured her nose and orbital bone, and left her with a concussion.

Ellis claims the drone’s propellers struck her head, leaving a gash that needed more than 20 stitches. She also claims to have suffered a concussion.

Billcliff, 38, reportedly claims he wasn’t at the controls of the drone when it crashed.

At the time, Billcliff said he was in the middle of the crowd, behind his wife, near the stage, listening to their friends perform a song written especially for the newlyweds.

“How would anyone think that anything like that would ever happen on their big day?” he said.

Paramedics showed up and the reception came to a halt, reports the Boston Herald.

“That pretty much ended it,” said Billcliff, who added his bride, Nichole, was in a “really, really bad mood after that.”

“At the moment, she just got really mad at me and thought that I just completely ruined the wedding,” Billcliff said. “She was so worried about me doing something stupid.”

Billcliff admits he’s known for his “stupid antics” but except for tossing a few meatballs at his friends’ table, Billcliff insists he was on his best behaviour at the wedding.

He says he’s still trying to figure out who had the joystick when the drone spiralled out of control.

Scott Robb II, vice president of Searles Castle, said he never gave Billcliff permission to fly the drone.

Billcliff’s attorney, Andrew LaCourse, confirmed Billcliff wasn’t operating the drone at the time of the crash.

“It’s regrettable somebody got hurt,” LaCourse said.


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