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Woman dead, husband critical after Ohio helicopter crash

June 7, 2022 GMT

GREENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A woman was killed and her husband was critically injured in the fiery crash Tuesday of a helicopter at their southwest Ohio home, authorities said.

The crash occurred around 9:40 a.m. near Greenville, roughly 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Dayton near the Indiana border.

Darke County Sheriff Mark Whittaker said arriving deputies, fire crews and emergency medical personnel found the two-seat aircraft burning and two occupants. First responders and bystanders worked to free one of the trapped occupants from the burning wreckage while others tried to put the fire out, he said.

Whittaker credited the “heroic efforts” of deputies and bystanders who “were using buckets of water from a nearby house and fire extinguishers, trying to beat back the flames while they tried to get the one occupant out,” the Dayton Daily News reported.

Charles Zimmer, 34, the registered owner of the aircraft, was pulled to safety and treated at the scene before he was flown to Miami Valley Hospital with life-threatening injuries, Whittaker said. His wife, Krista Zimmer, 35, was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

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Officials said it’s unclear whether the Enstrom F-28F was trying to land or take off at the time of the crash. They said the Zimmers “have been known to land and take off from their residence which is surrounded by farm ground in a rural area of Darke County.”

Federal Aviation Administration personnel had arrived at the scene and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive Wednesday morning to probe the cause of the crash, officials said.