Local News

Pilot killed when helicopter crashes in Wayne County field

Posted June 18, 2020 6:07 p.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2020 11:56 p.m. EDT

— Wayne County law enforcement reported a helicopter crashed in a field just north of Goldsboro on Thursday. The pilot of the helicopter died in the crash.

The crash was reported just about four miles north of Goldsboro in the area of 260 Daw Pate Road. Wayne County Dispatch confirmed to WRAL the helicopter went down in a field. Sky 5 was over the scene and saw the downed helicopter at the edge of a field near a line of trees.

Wayne County Public Information Officer Joel Gillie confirmed the fatality to WRAL Thursday evening. The Highway Patrol said the pilot was Eugene John Kritter III of Culpepper, Va.

The FAA reported the helicopter struck a power line while spraying corn and went down at 5:23 p.m. Only the pilot was on board.

"A Robinson R66 helicopter struck a power line and crashed in a field near 320 Daw Pate Road in Pikeville, N.C., today at 5:23 p.m. Contact local authorities for information on the pilot, the only person aboard the aircraft. The FAA will investigate and the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the accident," the FAA said in a statement.

Information online listed the helicopter registered to Kritter Cropdusting, Inc. in Culpeper, Va. It is a five-seat helicopter that has been registered with the company since June 15, 2020.

Steve Gurganus lives across from the field where the helicopter crashed.

"He was getting closer to the far woods back over there and the next thing I hear was what sounded like a gunshot," Gurganus said. "It wasn’t probably a few minutes later then I smell a little bit of smoke."

The State Highway Patrol was on the scene leading the investigation. Patetown Fire and other agencies were also assisting, officials said.

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