By Jim Comer
GREENVILLE — At least one person is dead following a fatal helicopter crash south of Greenville Tuesday morning.
At approximately 9:40 a.m., emergency personnel from Greenville City Fire and Greenville Township Fire and Rescue responded along with the New Madison Fire Department, Arcanum Rescue and deputies from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office to the 5000 block of Hog Path Road in reference to a helicopter crash.
According to Darke County Sheriff Mark Whittaker, deputies arrived on scene to find a two-seat helicopter on fire with two passengers entrapped within the wreckage. Sheriff Whittaker stated that the deputies, along with bystanders of the incident, worked heroically to extricate one occupant of the fiery crash by means of fire extinguishers and buckets of water from a nearby home.
The extricated passenger was treated on the scene by Greenville Township Rescue and Arcanum Rescue prior to being airlifted by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital with critical injuries. The second occupant of the helicopter was pronounced dead on the scene after succumbing to injuries sustained in the crash.
Bystanders to the incident reported deputies rushing to the aid of the helicopter’s occupants while flames were seen shooting multiple feet in the air.
“They just didn’t give up on it.” stated Tim Hutton, a passerby who witnessed the rescue efforts. “The flames would shoot up in the air and they would back up but they never gave up” he continued.
Whittaker confirmed that deputies were treated and released on the scene from injuries sustained during the rescue operation.
The identities of those involved in crash or further details of the incident have not been released at this time pending notification of family.
Whittaker, in his statement to the press, announced that the investigation into the crash will be conducted by the NTSB as well as the FAA. “Our role here as the Sheriff’s Office is to document the scene and that will be handled by the Darke County Accident Reconstruction Team with the aid of the Darke County Coroner’s Office. The NTSB and the FAA will be handling the investigation and deciding determining factors into the crash.” Whittaker said.
This incident will remain under investigation by the NTSB and the FAA. Further details will be provided as they become available.