Helicopter Crash Kills 1, Injures Another In Snohomish County

Update (12:24 p.m.): The pilot has died as a result of his injuries, according to KOMO.


Two men were injured, one critically, in a helicopter crash Tuesday afternoon in Snohomish County, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

The helicopter crashed into King Lake, about five miles southeast of Arlington. Witnesses said the helicopter was in the air for 60 to 90 seconds when unusual noises began. One man said he watched the helicopter fly 6 to 10 feet above the lake, then skid and nose dive into the water.

The same witnesses helped rescue the two men from the water after the helicopter went under. Emergency crews arrived and began CPR on the pilot. The passenger was also taken to a local hospital in serious but stable condition.

Authorities have not identified the cause of the crash. KOMO reports that investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene.

Helicopter Accident Statistics

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, helicopter accidents are becoming much less common in recent years. In 2016, there were 106 total helicopter accidents in the United States, 17 of which were fatal. That’s down from the 146 accidents (30 fatal) in 2013. 

There were five helicopter accidents in Washington State in 2016, all of which were non-fatal. The last fatal accident in Washington occurred on July 1, 2015, in Asotin. The cause of that accident was operational error.

Causes Of Helicopter Accidents

Helicopter accidents, much like car accidents, can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Let’s examine several of the most common ways helicopters are in accidents.

  • Operational error: Human error is the most common cause of helicopter accidents. This can occur during flight planning, the actual flight, in training or maintenance.
  • Mechanical malfunction: A part of the helicopter fails to function and causes the aircraft to go down.
  • Electrical malfunction: The power source for the helicopter stops working or malfunctions.

In addition to those causes above, helicopters crash due to taxiing accidents, cabin decompression, fuel loss, errant bird strikes, weather, sabotage, air traffic control mistakes.

Legal Options After A Helicopter Accident

Helicopter accidents can be serious and life-altering. Victims in these crashes often suffer critical and severe injuries and face a long road to recovery. 

If you or someone you love has been injured in a helicopter accident – whether you’re the pilot or passenger – you likely need experienced legal help. Helicopters are complex machines that require high levels of operational skill and maintenance. Thus, their accidents are complex.

While the laws are different from state-to-state regarding the rights of aviation accident victims, a claim can usually be made for damages against a negligent person or company. Victims can recover compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. 

Attorney Chris Davis, the founder of Seattle-based Davis Law Group, P.S., knows how serious helicopter accidents are, and how the negligence of someone or something can change a victim’s life. Regardless of the cause, you can trust Davis Law Group to protect your legal rights. To schedule a free case evaluation, fill out our online form on this page, use the chat feature below or call (206) 727-4000.

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