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 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

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

Just Posted

(Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey council moves to reduce parking along rapid transit corridors

This also targets rental housing developments in Rapid Transit Areas

Elgin Park Secondary students rally for climate change outside of their South Surrey in 2019. (Nick Greenizan photo)
City of Surrey set to host online climate-action panel

June 23 Zoom event to include speakers, question-and-answer period

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey singer soars into Searchlight song contest’s top 10 with ‘It Doesn’t Matter’

Argel Monte de Ramos is among ‘popular vote’ finalists, with winner to be announced June 22

West Coast Duty Free president Gary Holowaychuk stands next to empty shelves inside his store on Tuesday (June 15). (Aaron Hinks photo)
Revenue down 97% at South Surrey duty free as owner waits for U.S. border to reopen

Products approaching best before dates had to be donated, others destroyed

Cover of the 32-page Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers, created and compiled by Jeska Slater.
New ‘Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers’ seeks to ‘uplift and amplify’ voices

32-page guide launched Tuesday by Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP)

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Vancouver Giants will return to the ice on Oct. 8, hosting the Prince George Cougars at Langley Events Centre. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Vancouver Giants will renew division rivalry with Cougars when season resumes in October

First game on Langley Events Centre home ice since February of last year

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Most Read