1 dead in helicopter crash near Arlington

KING 5's Glenn Farley reports.

A 70-year-old man died Wednesday following a helicopter crash northeast of Everett near Granite Falls.

A second man was injured.

The helicopter crashed just after 1 p.m. Tuesday into King Lake, a remote body of water in the woods east of Arlington.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office says the helicopter was airborne for about a minute when neighbors said they heard a loud bang and called 911. Turned out the helicopter had crashed into the lake; firefighters and a dive team responded to the scene.

"It was a significantly loud bang, almost like an explosion. There was no fire or anything," said Dr. Jeffrey Abrams, a neighbor who rushed to the scene.

Abrams immediately launched his small boat and pulled the pilot from the water. The passenger was able swim to and grab onto the boat, and the neighbor pulled him to shore. 

"I was there pretty quickly, about 7-10 minutes," said Abrams. "By the time I got the boat into the water and so forth, fairly hopeful that we could save them both. I don't know. That's up to the man upstairs."

Both pilot and passenger were taken to local hospitals; the passenger was reportedly in serious, but stable condition. The pilot was in critical condition when transported, and he later succumbed to his injuries.

The helicopter was an R-22, a two-seat helicopter.

Witness say the particular helicopter flies over the lake a couple times a year. They said it appeared the skid, which is underneath the helicopter, caught the water and flipped over.

NTSB is on scene and investigating, as well as the Department of Ecology to evaluate if any fuel spills.

© 2017 KING-TV


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