Officials at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage have released the name of the sole survivor of a fatal helicopter crash that killed five, including the pilot, two guides, and two guests on Saturday. David Horvath, 48, of the Czech Republic, survived the crash and is listed in serious condition, according to the AP. Officials have not yet been able to interview Horvath about the incident.
State Troopers identified those killed as Petr Kellner, 56, and Benjamin Larochaix, 50, both of the Czech Republic and guests at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. Guides Gregory Harms, 52, and Sean McManamy, 38, and the pilot, Zachary Russel, 33, were also killed in the accident.
The chartered helicopter, an Airbus AS350 B3, was “conducting heli-ski operations in an area of steep and remote terrain within the Chugach Mountains near Knik Glacier,” National Transportation Safety Board member Tom Chapman said Monday during a briefing with reporters.
The NTSB was able to document the crash site with photos from the air before snowfall could obscure the site. The bodies have also been recovered and turned over to the state medical examiner.
While the investigation is still ongoing, Chapman said the helicopter appears to have hit the mountain 10 to 15 feet below a ridge line at an elevation of approximately 5,500 feet. The helicopter then rolled 800-900 feet downhill.
SKI will continue to update this story as more details emerge about the accident as well as the victims of this tragedy.