The parents of two children killed on the 'Twilight...


LOS ANGELES -- The parents of two children killed on the 'Twilight Zone' movie set emotionally testified Thursday they heard director John Landis order a helicopter to fly 'Lower! Lower!' moments before it crashed onto the youngsters and actor Vic Morrow.

One of the parents, the Vietnamese father of Myca Dinh Lee, 7, also testified that the special-effects explosion that caused the helicopter to crash was bigger than any explosion he witnessed during the Vietnam War.


'I was born and raised in a war-torn country and I saw lots of explosions,' a highly upset Daniel Lee testified in a loud, agitated voice. 'I never seen such a big explosion in my life' as the one on the set of 'Twilight Zone: The Movie.'

'I saw a huge blast go all the way from the hut area to the top of the cliff ... I was scared. I was scared. I was never so scared in all my life. When I saw the explosion, I was horrified ... paralyzed ... I fell to the ground.'


The other parent, Shayah-Huei Chen, the mother of Renee Chen, 6, testified that before the fatal crash, she became alarmed over the use of 'very loud' special-effects explosions and the helicopter, and asked associate producer George Folsey if her daughter was in any danger.

'I asked, 'Is it dangerous?'' said Chen, who sometimes testified through a Chinese interpreter and other times in English. 'He used his hand to pat my shoulder. He said, 'Not dangerous, just a very loud sound.''

Morrow and the two children were killed about 2:20 a.m. July 23, 1982, during filming of a Vietnam War scene for 'Twilight Zone: The Movie' in rural northern Los Angeles County. Prosecutors say the helicopter was only 24 feet above the actors when it spun out of control and crashed into Morrow as he carried the children across a river.

Landis, Folsey, unit production manager Dan Allingham, special effects coordinator Paul Stewart and helicopter pilot Dorcey Wingo are on trial for involuntary manslaughter charges in the three deaths.

Sobbing throughout her testimony, Chen said she was watching the filming from a short distance awaywhen the crash occurred.

'I saw my child and the actor (Morrow). He carried her across the river,' she testified. 'Then John Landis was right behind us and went behind a hill. I saw him with a big speaker. Then I saw the helicopter in the sky above us.


'Then (Landis) was yelling, 'Lower! Lower!' Then I heard another loud explosion and very windy and dusty.

'Then I saw the helicopter fall on top of the people,' she said, breaking into loud sobs. 'At that moment, I was so scared. I felt something happened to my daughter. I was yelling for my daughter.'

Lee also testified that he heard Landis's 'loud voice, with a bullhorn (order the helicopter pilot) 'Lower! Lower!'' moments before the crash.

When the special effects explosions started going off, he said, he fell to the ground, and 'the next thing I saw were people running for their lives, pushing, shoving, screaming. (Then he saw) the body of my son.'

Lee gave much of his testimony about his Vietnam experiences with the jury absent. The defense successfully prevented jurors from hearing that testimonyon grounds it was too prejudicial to the defendants.

Chen testified that during filming a few hours before the crash, she saw Landis carry her crying daughter over to her.

'I saw she was crying. I said 'Are you scared?' She said 'A little bit. I have sand in my eye.' The actor hold her so tight, it hurt a little bit. Her clothes were wet.''


After she went to change her daughter into dry clothes, she said, Folsey told her that 'if fire department people come over and ask you what you are doing here, tell them you are friends helping us. Don't mention money.'

Lee testified Folsey told him the same thing.

Prosecutors have charged that Landis and Folsey illegally hired the two children to act in the scene without work permits because they knew the scene was too dangerous to obtain the needed permits from the state.

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