47°F
weather icon Possible Drizzle

Helicopter pilot dies in crash at Red Rock Canyon in Nevada

A 53-year-old Connecticut man died and another person was critically injured after a helicopter crash Wednesday afternoon in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Good Samaritans called 911 about 3:40 p.m. and began rendering first aid for the victims after they witnessed the crash, Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman Jason Buratczuk said outside the scene Wednesday evening.

The two people were the only ones onboard the Robinson R44 helicopter, and both were taken to University Medical Center in critical condition, he said. The man, who was the pilot, died at the hospital, Buratczuk later said.

Nevada Highway was closed between Sky Vista Drive and Moenkopi Road because of debris on both sides of the road and fuel “onboard” the helicopter, Buratczuk said. The helicopter battery was still connected and could ignite the fuel, he said.

“We’re keeping everyone as far back as possible because we don’t want any type of fire or explosion to take place,” he said.

Buratczuk said the helicopter crashed about 20 feet from the road, north of the Desert Sportsman Rifle Club and the Red Rock Canyon entrance sign.

The Metropolitan Police Department said Route 159 is expected to reopen Thursday afternoon. According to a Highway Patrol tweet, plans called for visitors to be able to access Red Rock Canyon’s scenic loop Thursday morning by taking state Highway 160 to Highway 159.

The helicopter is registered to Binner Enterprises LLC, a Henderson aviation and flight school, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Binner Enterprises is owned by Matthew Binner, whose LinkedIn profile also lists him as the director of operations for 5 Star Helicopter Tours.

Binner said the helicopter was flown by a registered pilot.

Buratczuk was unable to confirm where the helicopter was coming from or why it crashed.

He said the witnesses who saw the crash were quick to call 911 and started helping the victims “well before” any first responders got to the scene.

“Kudos to the citizens who were on the scene first,” he said. “That was great that they were there to help.”

Law enforcement and the FAA remained on scene Wednesday night.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
 
Photos: Showcasing the history of American flight

The showcase of military firepower is expected to draw more than 200,000 over two days, so attendees are advised to arrive early at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for bus service.

Winter storm moving through region near Pahrump

The first major snowstorm of the season was heading toward the mountainous regions near Pahrump, prompting a winter storm warning starting today for an area that includes the Sheep Range, the Spring Mountains, Red Rock Canyon and areas of neighboring Inyo County.

Electric vehicle charging station goes live in Southern Nevada

Two DC fast chargers were added at Terrible’s Road House in Jean, about 30 miles south of Las Vegas, as part of the Nevada Electric Highway initiative.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Nov. 16 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $7 million.

Conservation work continues at Scotty’s Castle

Scotty’s Castle, located in the northern region of Death Valley National Park, has been closed since Oct. 18, 2015 when almost three inches of rain fell on the Scotty’s Castle area in Grapevine Canyon.

Details emerge on fatal wreck north of Beatty

A driver who died when her car collided with the tractor-trailer rig in rural Nye County earlier this month was identified Monday as a 21-year-old Arizona woman.