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3 died in a helicoper crash at Backwoods Festival

Backwoods Festival 2019

The final day of Ozark, Arkansas EDM festival Backwoods was cancelled after a helicopter crash killed three people and injured one, THV11 reports. Six-minute sightseeing helicopter rides from Tulsa Helicopters were promoted as a festival attraction (as of this writing, the link to an interview with the person who runs the company is still live on Backwoods’ homepage, while Tulsa Helicoper’s site has been replaced with the message, “For all media inquiries, please contact Vann & Associates at ​405-509-9312 or 918-212-6538):

Are the helicopter rides awesome?

Oh yeah, it’s a fantastic time. I usually play “welcome to the jungle” when I’m flying, so that should give you an idea of the mood. Not once in our eleven years of doing this have we ever had anyone say “I wish I hadn’t done that”. Sometimes it’s like a roller coaster ride, other times it’s peaceful. There are exciting parts to it, and there are tranquil parts to it. In six minutes, it covers just about every emotion you have.

Bill Sadler with the Arkansas State Police told THV11 that one survivor was found in the wreckage of the crash that killed three other riders on Sunday (6/2), not far from its landing site, but didn’t specify whether it was the pilot or one of the passengers who survived. The crash site was found at 8 PM, according to investigators, and Franklin County Sheriff Anthony Boen said the helicopter had been scheduled to return at 7 PM.

UPDATE: KFSM 5 News reports that the identities of the people killed in the crash have been released by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. They are the helicopter’s pilot Chuck Dickson, of Tulsa, OK, and two of its passengers, Sarah Hill of Austin, TX, and Marco Orneals of Mexico. Zachari Peterson of Omaha, NE is being treated in a Tulsa, OK hospital for internal injuries and multiple broken bones. As of Monday (6/3), he is listed in critical condition.

The Festival Owl shared a video of Backwoods employees taking to the festival’s stage to address the crowd while the wreckage was searched for. The music programming was put on hold while the search began, and never resumed.

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