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October 30, 2013
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DAYS CREEK: 3 helicopter crash victims remain hospitalized; 2 in serious condition

A state fish biologist and contract pilot injured in a helicopter crash Monday near Days Creek were in serious condition this morning at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, a hospital spokeswoman said today.

Holly Huchko, 34, and pilot Fred Wittlake, 55, of Rogue River, were aboard a Bell Jet Ranger that crashed into the South Umpqua River.

The third person on board, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fish biologist Eric Himmelreich, 35, was in good condition this morning at Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Wittlake was listed in fair condition Tuesday, but was downgraded to serious.

Huchko and Himmelreich were conducting fish counts in the river. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Hollow said he had no new information today about the crash.

A Federal Aviation Association spokesman said the NTSB is leading the investigation, and the FAA is assisting.

Huchko has been with ODFW for 10 years, and Himmelreich has worked for the agency for just more than a year. Both work out of the Roseburg office of the Umpqua Fish District.


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The News-Review Updated Nov 4, 2013 01:28PM Published Nov 3, 2013 12:44AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.