Helicopter Crash in Solano County Causes Three Deaths

Contracted Helicopter Involved in Death of PG&E Employees

A helicopter crashed in Solano County near Soda Springs Road and Lyon Road. This happened on June 2 in the vicinity of Interstate 80 and resulted in three fatalities. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said that the contracted helicopter, a Bell 206, that was carrying three PG&E workers, hit a 115-Volt power line and crashed around 1 p.m. The rural area is between Fairfield and Vacaville. The helicopter crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA officials to determine what caused the accident. The Solano County Coroner’s Office has identified the decedents as helicopter pilot, 38-year-old Roscoe Gray of Sonora; Local 676 Journeyman Lineman, 41-year-old Jimmy Wasdin, whose city of residence was unknown; and Local 1245 Fourth Step Apprentice Lineman, 29-year-old Travis Shull of Chico. Mr. Wasdin and Mr. Shull were both members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Mr. Gray was not a member of the union but was said to have had many friends at IBEW Local 1245 and PG&E. A GoFundMe page has been created by a fellow member of the union to help support the family of the decedents during this difficult time. A separate GoFundMe page has also been created for the loved ones of Mr. Shull to help cover his final resting expenses.

Details of the Helicopter Crash

The helicopter came down in an area of vegetation and caught fire after it crashed. About five to seven acres of grass were reported as burned, according to a Cal Fire representative. Cal Fire, officers with the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, the Suisun City Fire Department and PG&E responded to the accident. A massive power outage occurred as a result of the helicopter crash, which affected more than 38,000 customers of PG&E. Officials with the company said they hoped to have the power restored by 5:30 p.m. 

Firemen Receive Minor Injuries

The terrain around the area of the helicopter crash is hilly and steep, which caused one of the Cal Fire fire engines to experience a rollover. Three firemen suffered minor injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital. 

Helicopter Crashes

Helicopter crashes can be devastating since once the unit malfunctions, there is little chance of recovery. There were 122 helicopter crashes in 2019. Out of this number,  there were 124 fatalities. This ratio of helicopter accident incidents to fatalities indicates the severity of such accidents.

Liability in a Company Owned Helicopter

Liability in a helicopter crash depends on the circumstances. For instance, if a pilot is in command of a company helicopter when the crash occurs, it is possible for a grieving family to place blame in a variety of areas. 

The pilot may be undertrained, fatigued, or asked to navigate in unusual circumstances. The helicopter itself may be the reason the crash happens. It may have defective parts or not show a proper maintenance record that would help assure its safety. 

In this situation, the family of the deceased employees may be able to file a workman’s compensation claim against the company.

Contracted Helicopter

Alternately, the helicopter may not belong to the company and instead be contracted from a third party. In this case, the same errors may exist. However, the family may decide to file a personal injury/wrongful death lawsuit against the contractor for their losses. 

Grief After a Traumatic Loss

Coping with a traumatic loss in the family from a helicopter crash or other violent event leaves the family having to deal with not only the grief but the trauma of the situation. Because the death was unjust, it can lead to feelings of guilt, anger and confusion. Friends and family members can help those who are grieving by being good listeners, pitching in to help around the home or with children, and bringing over food. Grief does not have a timeline. Love and support from family and friends are needed for a grieving person to make it through this difficult period.

Sacramento Helicopter Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento helicopter accident lawyer. Helicopter crashes can occur for a number of reasons, and when negligence is the cause, the injured person may wish to place a claim for compensation. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for my free and friendly advice. You can also contact me online.

I belong to the Million Dollar Forum and Top One Percent.

For 38 years, I’ve helped Northern Californians obtain the compensation they deserve for their accident injuries caused by negligence. In addition to helicopter and airplane crashes, I represent those with traffic accidents, government claims and cases that involve wrongful deaths, among others.

Check the following links for more information about my law firm:

Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/hands-open-candle-candlelight-1926414/

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