Three members of the Red Dirt Rangers were injured in a serious helicopter accident on Saturday, June 26th. Two of the five passengers were killed in the crash. Further details of the accident can be read after the jump.
John Cooper, Brad Piccolo and Ben Han (left to right) were rescued while clinging to the upside-down helicopter in the Cimarron River. Cushing’s interim Fire Chief Dennis Fisher credited Piccolo for assisting in the rescue of his fellow band members, Cooper and Han by keeping them awake and talking.
Although Coop, Brad, and Ben survived the crash, they sustained a number of injuries. Piccolo has broken ribs, a spot on his lung, lacerations on his arms, a swelling knee and a possible broken tailbone. Cooper has a broken leg, broken pelvis, collapsed lung and bad lacerations. Han was improving and could be discharged soon.
Unfortunately, none of the three has medical insurance.
A recovery fund has been set up at BancFirst. If you wish to donate to the Red Dirt Rangers Recovery Fund, you may do so at any location. Click here for locations.
Donations may also be mailed to:
Attn: Janice Liggett
P.O. Box One
Stillwater, OK 74076-0001
Oklahoma Authorities Still Investigating Fatal Helicopter Crash That Killed Police Officer
Posted: Monday, June 28, 2004
Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:27 PM GMT-05:00
Courtesy of KOTV.Com
The search for clues is underway into a deadly helicopter crash. That crash killed two people including an Oklahoma City police officer and the pilot.
News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger says it wasn’t until early Sunday morning when parts of the mangled helicopter wreckage were pulled from the Cimarron River.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol authorities say five people were on board the Bell Ranger helicopter including three members of the country group Red Dirt Rangers.
Among those injured were 46 year old John Cooper, 47 year old Ben Han and 43 year old Don Bradley Piccolo. OHP says the pilot and Oklahoma City police officer Darrell Jameson was hired to give sightseeing rides at a party at the Elks Lodge in Cushing and that Jameson had made several trips before the chopper went down six miles from the lodge.
Aircraft investigator Aaron Sauer: “The aircraft did not return the owner of the helicopter was notified as well as flight source.? Witnesses say the chopper was cruising at a low altitude over the Cimarron River in stormy weather when the pilot clipped some power lines. “A fisherman had reported hearing a splash into the river and noticed and did make the 911 call.”
Kenny King has been a pilot for 15 years and says when something goes wrong in the air; pilots are sometimes given little or no time to react. “It doesn’t matter how little you fly, you can get distracted by power lines or any number of things and any inexperienced or experienced pilot have run into those things.?
Jameson and one other passenger Nicholas Knigge from Cushing died at the scene. Han and Cooper are in stable condition at a Tulsa hospital and are expected to make a full recovery. Piccolo suffered broken ribs but is said to be in good condition at a Cushing hospital.
Patrina also talked with KVOO radio host Eric Wayne who does a weekly radio show with the Red Dirt Rangers. Wayne says he talked with the injured band members about what happened. “They were on top the helicopter breathing in the fumes, talking to each other trying to stay awake until help came. Well, for being in a helicopter crash they’re grateful and lucky to be alive.”
Wayne says Han, Cooper and Piccolo all suffered broken bones. He says they could be in the hospital for several weeks.