Rescue personnel look over the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed Saturday morning near Lead Mine on Monday. The helicopter was part of a crew working on wire installations for Allegheny Energy’s Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line. One crew member was killed in the crash.
By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
LEAD MINE, W.Va. — Federal investigators are at the scene of a helicopter crash that killed a member of a crew installing wire for Allegheny Energy’s Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line in Tucker County.
Allegheny spokesman Doug Colafella says the crash occurred after three lineworkers had finished work and boarded the helicopter Saturday morning.
The name of the lineman killed in the crash hasn’t been released.
Colafella says the linemen worked for PAR Electrical Contractors from Kansas City, Mo. The pilot works for Winco Power Line Services from Aurora, Ore. Both companies are owned by Houston-based Quanta Services Inc.
Colafella says PAR and Winco are subcontractors on the TrAIL project. The 500-kilovolt line stretches from Pennsylvania through West Virginia to Virginia.
A WingCo helicopter crashed while working on the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line (TrAIL) Saturday near Leadmine Road in Tucker County, claiming the life of one crew member.
“They were installing shield wire to the transmission structure,” Allegheny Power spokesman Doug Collafella said.
Kansas City, Missouri based Par Construction Company was subcontracted to work on the TrAIL project and WingCo supplied the helicopter. Collafella said there were four people on board when it crashed and one of the crew was killed. The remaining three were transported by helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.
The helicopter went down in area Collafella described as “very remote.” However, the site could be seen from Route 219 about three miles from the Preston County line.
West Virginia State Police Sgt. J.L. Clay said the Parsons Detachment of the state police secured the scene and the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration responded around 5 p.m. on Saturday.
According to Collafella, the cause of the accident is still under investigation and the NTSB, FAA and contractors will be at the scene today. Collafella said the names of the victims are not yet being released.
LEAD MINE, W.Va. — A Portage man has survived a helicopter crash near Lead Mine, W.Va., that killed an electric lineman, an Allegheny Energy spokesman said Monday.
Federal authorities continued their investigation of the crash that occurred Saturday morning after a crew had finished installing wire for Allegheny’s Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line, Doug Colafella said. The pilot and two other linemen were taken to a Morgantown hospital and have since been released.
Killed in the accident was Gary L. Bland, 52, from Georgia, Colafella said.
Ryan Joseph Lange, 31, of Portage, survived the crash along with Jeffrey M. McKay, 34, of Olive Hill, Ky., and Robert A. Rogers, 40, of Dacula, Ga.
Colafella was uncertain which man was the pilot.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration, Colafella said. The helicopter went down in the power line’s right of way after the linemen had finished attaching wires to a transmission tower.
“We’re terribly saddened by this accident,” Colafella said. “I can’t emphasize enough what a priority safety is on this project.”
The linemen worked for PAR Electrical Contractors from Kansas City, Mo. The pilot works for Winco Power Line Services from Aurora, Ore. Both companies are owned by Houston-based Quanta Services Inc.
PAR and Winco are subcontractors on the TrAIL project, Colafella said. The 500-kilovolt line will stretch between Pennsylvania and northern Virginia and pass through Monongalia, Preston, Tucker, Grant, Hardy and Hampshire counties in West Virginia.
The West Virginia State Police have released the names of three of the four people aboard a Wingco helicopter that crashed in Tucker County on Saturday. The crew was working on the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line (TrAIL) off of Leadmine Road near Thomas.
In a prepared statement, state police said, “The helicopter was being used to pick up the subjects from the top of a large metal power line tower. The helicopter apparently maneuvered underneath the suspended wires and may have struck the wires causing the crash.”
According to the statement, Ryan Joseph Lang, 31, of Portage, Indiana, Jeffery M. McKay, 34, of Olive Hill, Kentucky, and Robert A. Rogers, 40, of Dacula, Georgia, were all aboard the helicopter when it went down. The three injured occupants were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for treatment.
“A fourth passenger on the helicopter was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries received in the crash,” the statement reads. “The identity of the 51-year-old male has been withheld pending notification of next of kin.”