MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Bradenton native was among six people who were killed in a helicopter crash Wednesday in West Virginia, according to reports.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials said a Bell UH-1B helicopter crashed around 5 p.m. in Logan County, West Virginia., Nexstar’s WOWK reported.
Six people were on board. All were killed.
According to the Bradenton Herald, 69-year-old Don Sandhoff, a 1971 graduate of Southeast High School, was among those killed when the helicopter he was flying in crashed down. All passengers aboard the helicopter were pilots who gathered for an annual reunion, the report added.
One witness told WOWK she started to see smoke and flames rising from what she thought was a crash on Blair Mountain Highway or Route 17.
Once she got closer, her worst fears were confirmed.
“I saw that there was a guy trapped, I guess the captain,” Bobbi Childs. “I tried to get down to the door where he was at. You could see him plain as day. I tried to get to him, but the fire was too hot. I couldn’t get to him.”
Local authorities have yet to determine the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to investigate the crash.