Robinson 44 Helicopter Crash in Maryland Kills 4 People
Four people are dead after a Robinson R-44 helicopter crashed in Maryland on Thursday night on the Interstate 70 highway in Washington County.
The pilot and two of the passengers were employees of Advanced Helicopter Concepts. All passengers and the pilot on board the small airplane were killed. The names of the deceased have not been released.
The Interstate 70 highway was closed until 5:00am Friday morning due to the crash.
The aircraft was engulfed when firefighters arrived at the scene minutes after receiving a call at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, said Washington County emergency services director Kevin Lewis. No vehicles on the highway were hit when the helicopter smashed into the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70. There were no injuries on the ground.
FAA records indicate that the Robinson R44 helicopter was owned by Marsan Aviation Inc.
Maryland State police, who are in charge of the investigation, declined to release the victims' names until family members were notified. Investigators from the NTSB and the FAA were also at the scene west of the Washington County-Frederick County line, on the western slope of a ridge known as South Mountain.
The cause of the accident is not known, although poor weather may have been a factor, as visibility was limited in the area due to fog.
The crash occurred about 10:30 p.m. on Interstate 70 in Washington County, said Kevin Lewis, director of county emergency services.
"When emergency personnel arrived, they found a small commercial aircraft, a Robinson 44 helicopter, with four passengers," he said. "I can confirm four fatalities on site as a result of the crash."
The helicopter did not strike any cars, Lewis said.