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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

BREAKING: Fraser River is rising, possible flooding outside dike system coming

District warns of potential flooding outside its dike system

Two Chilliwack women make weekly Crime Stoppers most wanted list

Ashley Felix and Raina McDonald wanted on unrelated issues

Mission company wins third award for Kermode Cabin

Lacey Construction nets Georgie Award for project at Sandpiper Resort in Harrison Mills

Kilby Park in Harrison Mills under water

Area is often subject to flooding, Historic Site will remain open through the summer

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

Police arsenal deployed to avoid potentially violent situation: Mounties

Langley RCMP arrest armed Vancouver man after Tasering him on side street

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

The prisoners allege guards did not wear masks until April 25

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Most Read