One person was killed in a helicopter crash at the Tyee Spit in Campbell River Sept. 24. The fuselage of the helicopter came down close to a carving shed on the Wei Wai Kum First Nation reserve causing it to catch fire as well. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

One dead in Campbell River helicopter crash

Helicopter crashes at Tyee Spit near the city’s downtown

One person died in a helicopter crash at Tyee Spit in Campbell River Tuesday morning and the crash narrowly-missed a local First Nations carver in his studio at the time.

At approximately 11:25 a.m. on Tuesday, Campbell River RCMP and Campbell River Fire responded to a report of a helicopter crash in the Tyee Spit area of Campbell River.

“A locally-owned commercial helicopter met a tragic end in the area with one soul on board who did not survive,” Const. Maury Tyre, Campbell River RCMP spokesperson said in a press release.

Campbell River RCMP had the Spit Road area closed off for approximately an hour following the incident for investigative and safety purposes. The cause of the crash is presently unknown and will continue to be investigated by Worksafe BC, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the BC Coroner’s Service.

“On behalf of the Campbell River RCMP, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the family of the victim in this crash and to the staff and owners of the helicopter company,” Tyre said.

Police said the name of the victim and the helicopter company will not be released due to privacy concerns.

A witness to the crash said that people rushed to the scene to provide assistance once the helicopter, a Bell 206, had come down.

Jacques Lizotte said, “We saw the chopper come over the top of us. Then the sound was not right. It looked like the motor was not running and we saw him coming down and when it hit the ground the rotor flew off and the fire started.”

Lizotte thought it was going to land in the parking lot but then it came down beside a building known as the Carving Shed on the part of Tyee Spit in the Wei Wai Kum First Nation reserve. The helicopter caught fire and the fire spread to a corner of the shed.

Renowned local artist Bill Henderson was in the shed at the time but managed to avoid injury. His great-neice, Keisha Malone, said Henderson had luckily moved away from the part of the shed that was struck by the helicopter’s propeller blade as it sliced through the roof. His nephews were working outside the shed on a totem pole and also escape unharmed.

Malone was in her house across the street and heard a “huge, loud bang” and then people yelling “Call 911!” Malone said Henderson is shaken up by the incident but is doing all right. She said her family’s thoughts were with the pilot’s family.

“Our condolences go out to his family,” she said.

Lizotte was one of many who rushed over to the scene. He said he saw two people pull the occupant of the helicopter out. He saw them pull apart some of the fibreglass of the helicopter fuselage to get to him.

“Lots of people, they went there with the extinguisher and tried to get the fire out; some run with a bucket of water,” Lizotte said.

Lizotte said the fire department then took over putting the fire out.

The crash site is a heavily-used area of Campbell River. Part of it is in the Wei Wai Kum First Nation reserve and includes an RV park, a housing subdivision the carving shed and defunct cruise ship dock. North of the crash site on the Tyee Spit is a popular city park, a busy floatplane base and an ore ship loading facility.

A team from the Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash as is WorkSafe BC and the BC Coroner’s Service.

CTV News is reporting that the pilot killed in the crash is Ed Wilcock, owner of E&B Helicopters of Campbell River.

– with files from Canadian Press


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Emergency crews attend the scene of a helicopter crash at Campbell River’s Tyee Spit. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

Abbotsford man gets 9 months for pilfering $36,000 from Mission gun shop

Tyson Gamberg worked as shipper at High Calibre Services Corp.

Company’s ‘toxic’ stench at Abbotsford school prompts district’s appeal to Ministry of Education for help

Enforcement centered on voluntary compliance has “no teeth” while kids become sick

Threats to the Fraser River at a ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Ready, set, Glow! Christmas festival opens in Abbotsford

Event at Tradex features a million lights, live entertainment and more

Fraser Valley Regional District administration/government costs set to rise by 18%

Mosquito control and fire dispatch costs also set for increase

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Chilliwack mom gives back to neonatal unit with Christmas stocking drive

Ashley Durance is paying it forward to other families and their babies following daughter’s NICU stay

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read