A helicopter crash in Merced miraculously left only the pilot injured, according to recent reports. Witnesses gave various accounts of the crash that have helped authorities to begin piecing together what happened. One man who was walking his dog reported that he heard the sound of metal blades hitting the ground while another man who was working in a nearby watermelon field stated through an interpreter that he saw a helicopter become tangled in overhead wires, then crash to the field below before bursting into a fiery ball of flame. The helicopter finally came to rest in a field close to Merced Regional Airport after rolling several times.
Only the 41-year-old pilot, whose name had not been released, was injured in the crash. The two witnesses ran to render aid and, after pulling the injured pilot from the wreckage, called for help. The pilot is currently in critical condition at a local medical facility. There has been no update on his condition or prognosis since he was admitted.
Kathleen Hennessy, spokeswoman for the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, stated that the helicopter pilot was spraying a watermelon field when his Bell 47-G2A helicopter became entangled in guy wires. It then crashed to the ground and burst into flames.
After an accident of this nature, the sheriff’s department will turn over the ongoing investigation to the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) and the Federal Aviation Administration. Each agency will look closely at records kept by the employer to see if any safety breaches have been committed.
The pilot works for the Bettencourt Flying Service of Atwater. According to Hennessy, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators will look at the illness and injury prevention plan of the employer to check for maintenance and equipment operations compliance to ensure that the employer is following the guidelines set by OSHA.
If you have been injured in an aviation accident and are in need of a personal injury attorney in the Northern California area, call the Amerio Law Firm in Roseville. The attorneys at Amerio Law are experienced, hard-working and knowledgeable in dealing with personal injury suits. Let them help you build your personal injury case. The Amerio Law Firm provides each client with a free case evaluation to determine the best course of action for any personal injury case.