Helicopter crashes into Island Lake; pilot rescued from waterA helicopter crashed into Island Lake shortly after takeoff early this morning. The pilot, 24-year-old Eric Francis Monson, was rescued from the water by witnesses to the crash.
By: Duluth News Tribune, Superior Telegram
A helicopter crashed into Island Lake shortly after takeoff early this morning. The pilot was rescued from the water by witnesses to the crash.
The crash occurred shortly before 12:30 a.m. off Bear Island Road, on the west side of the Island Lake reservoir.
St. Louis County Sheriff's Deputy Nick Voltzke said at the scene that the small helicopter took off and was about 200 feet from shore when it lost power and went into the lake. Voltzke said people on shore who witnessed the crash got in a boat and rescued the pilot, 24-year-old Eric Francis Monson, who was back on shore and talking when authorities arrived. He was taken to a local hospital by Gold Cross Ambulance for non-life-threatening injuries.
The helicopter, a Robinson R44 Raven II, remained submerged in the lake early this morning, Voltzke said. The helicopter is owned by Lake Superior Helicopters of Superior, a company of which Monson is part-owner.
Authorities estimate the helicopter landed in water 15-feet deep.
The St. Louis County Rescue Squad, Fredenberg Volunteer Fire Department and Minnesota State Patrol also were at the scene. The accident remains under investigation.
This is a developing story; check back to www.duluthnewstribune.com for updates.