The Lincoln County (NV) Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) announced Friday evening that there was a helicopter crash last Wednesday west of Pioche, NV that claimed the lives of two tower workers heading to a remote job site.
The accident occurred at approximately 10 a.m. PST. Sheriff Kerry Lee, in a call with Inside Towers, confirmed that the pilot was James Robinson, President of Ag-Max and St. Louis Helicopter (SLR) of Sellersburg, IN, and LaDonna Stroud, also an employee of the company. SLR is chartered by telecom providers to get workers to remote locations. Sheriff Lee told Inside Towers the victims were on their way to a “tower farm” site on Highland Peak when the accident occurred.
The sheriff’s office received a call shortly after 10 a.m. about a possible helicopter crash, as well as several reports of smoke spotted in the Highland Peak area. Bureau of Land Management Helicopter crews, who were already staged in the area due to wildfires, assisted with locating the crash site by air. LCSO and county emergency services personnel were then able to locate the crash site and confirmed two fatalities.
The sheriff’s department described the helicopter crew as “out-of-area contractors performing cell tower work in the area.” The FAA and NTSB were contacted and they will be investigating the cause of the crash.
The crash occurred near the area where two air tankers collided midair just a day later while fighting the Bishop Fire near Caliente, NV.