1 Killed, 3 Injured in Allegheny Energy Helicopter Crash in West Virginia


UPDATE:    Victim identified as Gary Bland, 52, of Georgia. Those injured identified as Robert Rogers, Ryan Lang and Jeffrey McCay. All three treated and released from Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. 

The investigation into what brought down a helicopter in a rural area of Tucker County over the weekend, killing one, is still under investigation. 

Doug Colafella with Allegheny Energy says those involved in the crash were not Allegheny Energy employees. 

“There were four employees of subcontractors that were doing work related to the construction of our Trans Allegheny Interstate Line transmission line,” Colafella said. 

The pilot and the three linemen based out of Kansas City were working on the TrAIL project about 10:30 Saturday morning when disaster struck. 

“They were attaching wires to a tower, essentially using a helicopter to hover right up to the top of a transmission tower,” Colafella told MetroNews Monday. “The line workers had exited the chopper onto the tower, had permanently coupled shield wire to the tower, had completed the work, re-boarded the helicopter, when at that time something occurred and the helicopter came down.” 

One of the linemen was killed, the pilot and two other linemen were injured and flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. 

Colafella says Allegheny Energy prides itself on its safety record and they’re mourning the loss of a worker they’d come to know well. 

“We are really deeply saddened by this accident,” he said. “These were subcontractors of Allegheny. But our employees and these folks work in the field together and have worked together on this from the very beginning.” 

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the crash.