UPDATE: 34-year-old Charles Zimmer, who was brought via Careflight to Miami Valley Hospital in critical condition, later passed away in the hospital, according to the Montgomery County Coroner.
GREENVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — The Darke County Sheriff’s Office has identified the victims of a fiery helicopter crash as a married couple from Darke County.
According to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch, a helicopter crashed at the 5000 block of Hogpath road around 9:40 am. in Greenville.
Deputies from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office were first to arrive on the scene, where they found a two-seater helicopter on fire and producing heavy smoke. They were joined by fire and rescue teams from Greenville and Arcanum.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they found a couple had been trapped inside the helicopter. Bystanders were working with deputies in an attempt to free the two occupants and put out the flames.
According to Darke County Sheriff Mark Whittaker, people were bringing buckets of water and fire extinguishers from a nearby home in an attempt to quench the blaze.
“It was through heroic efforts of deputies who worked the scene as well some bystanders who were working hard,” said Whittaker. “I’m very proud of the deputies and citizens that helped out on this.”
Crews were able to free one of the occupants, 34-year-old Charles Zimmer, who was brought via Careflight to Miami Valley Hospital in critical condition. He later passed away in the hospital, according to the Montgomery County Coroner.
The other victim, 35-year-old Krista Zimmer, was declared dead on the scene.
According to a release by the Darke County Sheriff’s Office, the two victims are married and lived in the home near where the helicopter crashed. The couple has been known to take off and land from their home which is surrounded by farm ground in a rural area of Darke County.
Some deputies received minor injuries from the heat as well as lacerations while trying to free the occupants, Whittaker said. They were treated on the scene.
The Darke County Coroner was also on the scene and reconstruction crews will document the scene. The NTSB and FAA will continue the investigation from there. As of Tuesday afternoon, the FAA had arrived on the scene. The NTSB is expected to arrive Wednesday morning.
It is unknown what may have caused the crash or if the couple was attempting a landing or taking off at the time of the crash.
The road has been closed between Jaysville-St. Johns Road and S.R. 127. Whittaker said it will remain closed for the day and possibly into the evening as crews investigate the crash.