COOLBAUGH TWP., Pa. - Imagine the excitement of chartering a helicopter from New York City to make a golf outing upstate. That excitement turned to terror when the crew tried to return home.
Police say bad weather caused their chartered helicopter to crash in the Poconos.16925212
"Upon discovery of the crash site we found three victims inside the aircraft," Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis said.
The Monroe County coroner said two men, William Ellsworth, from Hunterdon County, N.J., the chopper's pilot, and the front seat passenger Tighe Sullivan, 51, of Connecticut, died in the crash. A third man, Stephen Barral, of Somerset County, N.J., is in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
"Last night the weather was very poor, the visibility very poor, it was raining," Lewis said.
The men were returning from a golf outing in Elmira, New York back to New York City. Police say the helicopter crashed just before 8 Tuesday night. Authorities got the call two hours later that the chopper was missing. The wreckage was found at 2:30 Wednesday morning in a heavily wooded area off of I-380 near Tobyhanna in Monroe County.
"Shortly before the crash, the survivor of the crash was communicating with the owner of the aircraft indicating an attempt to escape from the weather and go to Mt. Pocono," Lewis said.
But the crew never made it, crashing just one mile from the Mt. Pocono Municipal Airport. Police say the U.S. Air Force tracked Stephen Barral's cell phone signal to the crash site.
"Could have been following the interstate due to weather conditions," Lewis said about the aircraft's flight path.
Prior to the crash a fourth passenger was dropped off in Wilkes-Barre, never suspecting he had just escaped possible death.
We still don't know exactly what happened and why the helicopter went down.
The FAA and the NTSB are investigating. It could take a year before their findings are released.
Pocono Mountain Regional Police have announced that K9 Niko has died.Read More »
- Search continues for man accused of beating dad to death
- Police searching for man accused of killing father in Schuylkill
- PSP: Gary Marchalk was killed by his son, Michael Marchalk
- FBI offers $15k reward in serial bank robberies
- Police investigate death of Schuylkill County official's estranged husband
- Police, coroner probing death of county official's husband
- Updated Northampton DA orders grand jury investigation into fatal police shooting
- Updated Suspect surrenders in stabbing of 2 teens in Reading
- Juror says Cosby trial panel almost evenly split
- Updated Senate to unveil healthcare bill
- Updated Prosecutors to seek death penalty in fatal Palmer Twp. shooting
- Updated Berks County looking at budget deficit in 2018
- Updated Auditor faults Penn State's tuition hikes, admissions record
- Warm and comfortable today
- Arts Around Town: Touching story of Hilton twins in Genesius Theatre's 'Side Show'
- Animals, rides, exhibitors and contests pack the Schnecksville Community Festival