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Helicopter Crash Claims Life of Prominent Colusa County Farmer 

Colusa Helicopter Crash Kills Four

A helicopter crash on Sunday, August 1st, claimed the life of 67-year-old Bill Vann, a prominent almond farmer from Colusa County. Three other lives were also lost – Bill’s wife, Susie Vann (60), and two of the couple’s friends – 62-year-old Bobbie Keaton, from Williams, and 71-year-old Charles Wilson, from Rocklin. It is not clear who was piloting the helicopter at the time of the incident. Mr. Vann owned Vann Family Orchards. Members of the Vann family confirmed that the married couple had died in the crash. 

Details of the Colusa Helicopter Crash

The helicopter crash occurred at approximately 1:15 p.m. on Sunday near Highway 45 and Reservation Road. The vessel went down in a field in that area which is next to the Sacramento River. According to officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the doomed helicopter was a Robinson R66.

Helicopter Crash Scene Response

Personnel from Sacramento River Fire located the four occupants still inside the helicopter. It was confirmed that there had been no other passengers. All four were declared dead at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.

FAA Investigation

The details of the crash are being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The aircraft tail number has not yet been released. 

Watch the YouTube video. Below is the ABC10 news report covering this tragic event.

Vann Family Orchards

The Vanns lived in Williams, California, according to a representative from the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Vann, along with his business partner and brother Garnett, started the farm in 1973 on 40 acres. They initially grew wheat and later expanded their crops to include walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. 

Currently, Vann Family Orchards farms over 17,000 acres located in the Sacramento Valley. They employ more than 200 people and maintain contracts with 100+ growers around the region. Garnett Vann issued a news release that the business will continue despite the family’s shocking and devastating loss. He described Bill Garnett as a very involved partner who loved farming as well as the business aspects associated with it. Garnett explained that they had been planning for the future legacy of the business prior to this tragedy. 

The family is planning funeral arrangements. On Monday, a flag at half-mast could be seen flying on the grounds of the Vann Family Orchards in Colusa. The Vanns are survived by their four children and seven grandchildren.

A Loss to the Farming Community

The president and CEO of California’s Almond Board, Richard Waycott, extended the Board’s condolences to the Vann Family. He acknowledged the leading role that Bill Vann and the Vann family have played in the California almond business. He remarked that the industry’s stature has grown due to the family’s contributions. 

Sacramento Helicopter Crash Attorneys 

Hello, and thank you for reading our report on this tragic Colusa helicopter crash. My name is Ed Smith, and I am a California helicopter crash lawyer. In nearly all instances when a helicopter goes down, there are catastrophic or fatal injuries to the vessel’s occupants.  California has a proportionately high rate of helicopter accidents. If you have been severely injured or have suffered the loss of a loved one in a California helicopter crash, our experienced lawyers would like to discuss your potential injury or wrongful death case. Do not hesitate to call us at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. We will set up a no-obligation consultation or simply provide compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice.

To see a sampling of our case results as well as read reviews from many of our former clients, please visit the sites linked below:

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