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KOMO News helicopter crash in Seattle kills two

Contributor
By Contributor
March 18th, 2014

Two people were killed and one was seriously injured when the KOMO News helicopter crashed and burst into flames Tuesday morning near the Space Needle in Seattle.

Emergency personnel immediately rushed to the scene as thick smoke poured over the city at the height of the morning commute.

Two cars and a pickup truck on Broad Street were struck in the crash. Occupants of two vehicles were able to escape without injury, but the driver of a third vehicle was badly burned.

The helicopter exploded into a fireball on impact. Huge flames and thick plumes of black smoke poured from the blazing wreckage, about 50 yards from the base of the Space Needle.

The two victims have been identified as former longtime KOMO News photographer Bill Strothman and pilot Gary Pfitzner. Strothman worked for many years at KOMO News and was well-known to many of the employees.

After retiring from KOMO, he worked as a free-lancer and also as an employee of Helicopters Inc., the company that operates the chopper leased by both KOMO and KING-TV.

 

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