Helicopter plunges into Wisconsin river, killing man
An unidentified man was killed when a helicopter hit power lines and plunged into a Wisconsin river on Saturday, officials said.
The helicopter went down in the Fox River in Oshkosh, around 94 miles north of Milwaukee, officials said.
“It happened very quickly and we have several witnesses that all saw the same thing happen very, very fast and until we get down there we can’t confirm any of that,” an official said at a news conference, according to Wisconsin’s Fox 11.
Gary Lemiesz, of Oshkosh, said that he watched as the helicopter flew east over the Fox River before turning back and flying west. He said it struck the wires and part of the propeller broke off, after which “it hit hard and sunk.”
After the collision into the water, the helicopter was pulled from the river; photographs revealed its frame had collapsed and its tail had broken.
Oshkosh Fire Dept. Assistant Chief John Ziemer said boats did a surface search but did not find anyone in the water.
Boat traffic on the river near the crash site was stopped for hours while authorities carried out the search.
The Saturday crash was the second helicopter mishap in Wisconsin this year. In April, three people died when a medical helicopter crashed near Hazelhurst, in the northern part of the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.