Barbara LatkowskiCaledonia Courier
On May 4, 2016 at 9:29 a.m., Fort St. James RCMP responded to a request to assist with a reported helicopter crash approximately 50 kilometres north of Fort St. James by Tchentlo Lake.
A helicopter belonging to Highland Helicopters of Richmond, B.C. was working in the Fort St. James area when it encountered problems and crashed in a logging cut block.
The helicopter emergency locator transmitter sent a signal received by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. The three on board were rescued by another helicopter belonging to Highland Helicopters which was the closest aircraft to respond according to the RCMP.
The three survivors were transported to the Fort St. James airport where B.C. Ambulance Service and Fort St. James RCMP were waiting to provide assistance.
The three were transported to Stuart Lake Hospital for treatment of relatively minor injuries.
Injured are two men from Williams Lake, ages 62 and 31 and a 28-year-old female from Prince George.
Fort St. James RCMP assisted the Transportation Safety Board during the initial hours of investigation, but has since turned that investigation over to them.
“One of our officers flew into the scene with Highland Helicopters as they checked on the machine to mitigate fire risk and preserve evidence. After viewing the photos of the helicopter, it is nothing short of a miracle that these people survived and are walking around.” said Sergeant Hallam, officer in charge of operations of Fort St. James RCMP.
“I visited with the survivors at the hospital and shared a few tears with them as the realization of what they had just been through began to sink in. I was so thankful to be able to be speaking with these people and knowing they would be going home to family.”
The Transportation Safety Board has conduct of the investigation and any further questions can be referred to them. 1-800-387-3557