DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. — Three people were injured when a helicopter they were riding in, crashed into the South Umpqua River Monday. The male pilot was taken to the hospital and two ODFW biologists were injured.
Investigators say the helicopter crashed just before noon near Days Creek.
ODFW says they were conducting fall chinook spawning surveys, which biologists several times a year in the South Umpqua River.
When emergency crews arrived, they found a helicopter in the river with three people still inside. The adult male pilot was airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield. His condition is unknown.
Holly Huchko, 34, suffered a broken back. Eric Himmelreich, 35, broke two vertebrae in the crash. They are both still in the hospital.
“Our thoughts are with Holly, Eric, the pilot and their families tonight,” said Larry Cooper, SW Region Manager.
Power lines in the area were knocked down as a result of the crash, ODFW said.
The crash is still under investigation.