Duke Energy pilot killed in helicopter crash in Eden identified

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EDEN, N.C. — Duke Energy has identified the pilot killed in a helicopter crash in Eden on Wednesday afternoon.

The company issued a statement, mourning the loss of pilot Shane Keebler.

“Our hearts are broken by the loss of our teammate, Shane,” said Donna Council, Duke Energy senior vice president of administrative services. “This tragic event is deeply saddening for us, particularly for his team who flew alongside him day in and day out. We are keeping Shane’s family, friends, co-workers and community in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, as well as his teammates and their families while they recover.”

The crash happened around 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of South Edgewood Road and Rosewood Lane.

Two passengers in the helicopter were able to escape the wreckage and Rockingham County EMS made contact with them.

One passenger was taken by ambulance to UNC-Rockingham and the second passenger was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Their conditions are not known at this time.

The two passengers reported a third member, the pilot, who was not immediately located.

The helicopter was engulfed in flames and firefighters worked to put the fire out. Once the fire was out and the scene was safe to approach, responders found the pilot of the helicopter dead.

Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration is on scene conducting the investigation into the cause of the crash.

An environmental cleaning agency has also been contacted to assist with any environmental impacts from the crash and the subsequent fire suppression.

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