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Sad news from Idaho, three die in chopper crash during flight to count salmon redds

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Aug. 31, 2010 at 11:35 am with No Comments »
September 1, 2010 11:20 pm

UPDATED AT 3:55 P.M.

All three people in the Idaho helicopter crash have died.

The dead Idaho Fish and Game employees have been identified as Larry Barrett, 47 of Lewiston, who worked for the agency since 1985, and Dani Schiff, 34 of Lewiston, who worked for Fish and Game since 1997.

The name of the pilot has not yet been released.

The crash occurred behind the U.S. Forest Service building in Kamiah. The biologists were counting salmon redds – spawning nests – on the nearby Selway River. Fish and Game biologists have counted redds annually since the 1950s using fixed wing and helicopters.

“I am heart broken to report that this morning we had a helicopter accident near Kamiah,” Fish and Game Director Cal Groen said in a news release. “Two employees and the pilot were on board. All three were killed. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and to all employees as we go through this difficult time.”

“This is a sad day for Fish and Game and our families,” Deputy Director Jim Unsworth said.

“Larry and Dani, our hearts go out to their families and the family of the pilot,” Deputy Director Virgil Moore said.

___

I just got this news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. It is sad news, indeed.

An apparent mechanical malfunction in a helicopter carrying two Idaho Fish and Game fisheries biologists and a pilot has resulted in a crash in Kamiah about 9:30 this morning that left two dead.

One of the biologists has been transported to the hospital in Orofino. Identifies of the victims is being withheld pending notification of families.

The crash occurred near the Fish and Game office in Kamiah. The biologists were taking salmon redd counts on the nearby Selway River.

The helicopter belongs to a Clarkston, Wash., company that contracts services to Idaho Fish and Game.

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