UPDATE: Sulphur, Iowa men die in helicopter crash in Cameron

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

An Era helicopter on a maintenance

flight crashed south of Lake Charles at midday Friday killing all three

occupants, authorities

said.

The Sikorsky S-76A helicopter went down in a muddy field just on the Cameron side of the Cal-Cam line, between the line that

Tom Hebert and Corbina roads follow.

Pilot William R. Croucher, 69, of California, and mechanics Michael Lee Tyree, 55, of Iowa, and Timothy Lloyd Goehring, 41,

of Sulphur, all died at the scene, Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson said.

All three were employees of Era Helicopters, Johnson said.

Because of the wet state of the field, emergency responders could only reach the crash site by all-terrain vehicle, tractor

or helicopter.

Emergency personnel returned from the crash site muddied and describing a charred scene.

“It’s very rough country, very muddy,” Johnson said.

The bodies were removed from the scene by helicopter, said Zeb Johnson, investigator with the Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office.

Sheriff Ron Johnson said a Federal Aviation Administration investigator was at the crash site.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation, according to Lynn Lunsford, FAA spokesman.

The helicopter departed Lake Charles Regional Airport about 30 minutes before the accident, Lunsford said.

Ron Johnson said an off-duty officer reported the crash at 11:45 a.m.

The sheriff’s offices of Calcasieu and

Cameron Parishes, as well as both parish’s offices of emergency

preparedness and firefighters

from Lake Charles and Grand Lake set up a staging area at the

corner of Tom Hebert and parish line roads.

Zeb Johnson credited the firefighters with getting water to the scene despite not being able to get their trucks close.

“These guys were doing a heck of a job, if it wasn’t for them we’d still be out there,” he said.

Ron Johnson said the investigation will continue tomorrow and that Cameron officers will guard the crash site tonight.

Era Helicopters CEO Sten Gustafson

released a statement following the crash: “We deeply regret this

unfortunate accident and

we will use all of our resources to support the families of those

involved. Our review will continue in concert with the investigation

by the National Transportation Safety Board, which has

jurisdiction over this matter.”

The two-engine, 14-seat helicopter was built in 1990, according to website FlightAware.