Helicopter carrying biology crew crashes, kills one near Pomeroy

Helicopter carrying biology crew crashes, kills one near Pomeroy

Officials say one person has died following the crash of a helicopter contracted by Washington state’s Fish and Wildlife department to help with mule deer surveying.

According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s office, the helicopter crashed between Meadow Creek road and Lower Deadman road around 2:00 p.m. Saturday with three people on board.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson tells KXLY the 369D helicopter, operated by Hell’s Canyon Helicopters of Clarkston, was carrying a biology team conducting big game surveys for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The crew had been contracted to shoot nets onto mule deer.

After the deer are trapped, the helicopter lands so the crew members can take samples from the deer and put tracking collars on them.

According to WSP, one of the passengers died at the scene. There have been conflicting reports of that person’s identity, KXLY is working to confirm the name and age of the person who passed away.

The pilot, Blake Malo of Clarkston, and the other passenger, Garrett Bradshaw of Eagle Point, Oregon, were airlifted to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.

It’s not known what caused the helicopter to go down.

The Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board have taken over the investigation into the crash, which could take up to two years to complete.