Four Dead, Three Hurt in Kauai Copter Crash

Photo by Thomas G. Tamura
Photo by Thomas G. Tamura

PRINCEVILLE, Kauai (KHNL) - Three people died at the scene of a helicopter crash on Kauai. Four were rushed in critical condition to Wilcox Memorial Hospital. After the KHNL News 8 at 6 newscast, we learned that one more person died on the way to the hospital.

The crash happened at about 3 PM Thursday.

Early reports indicate that the pilot of a "Heli USA" helicopter radioed his company dispatcher saying -- that he was having hydraulics problems.

Shortly afterward, the helicopter crashed on the northwest end of the Princeville Airport.

Authorities are advising people to stay away from the Princeville airport area as emergency officials are rushing the victims to the hospital.

Video journalist Terry Moeller describes the scene:

"When I first arrived, there were heavy tourist driving into the Princeville Airport. Soon as I arrived to the scene of the accident, the police asked everyone to leave. There was a helicopter on the ground that was badly damaged.  The whole front end was torn off. One woman I spoke to said it was the worst thing she had ever seen.

"The victims had already been removed from the scene. The helicopter was on the field to the right of the USA helicopter terminal, about a 100 yards from the terminal. It was badly damaged,  the blade was completely broken off and the front end was completely smashed in.   It looked like it was a terrific crash.

"The tourists were totally agast.  As I walked down the highway, people were just amazed that it happened in their community."

On September 23, 2005, a Heli-USA copter crashed into the ocean several hundred yards offshore of Haena, Kauai. Three people died and three others were injured.