A Virginia man was killed Sunday afternoon when his helicopter clipped an electrical wire and nosedived into the ground.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office identified the pilot as 57-year-old David Michael Montague of Rapidan, Virginia. Montague was reportedly dusting fungicide on farmland off Belk Mill Road when the crash occurred.
Steve Braswell, of Belk Mill Road, said he had just gotten home from church when he heard the helicopter buzzing overhead. He said he stepped outside and witnessed the ordeal.
“He (Montague) hooked that wire and it threw him down like a rag doll. It was a rough deal,” Braswell said.
Braswell said he immediately ran toward the crash site, arriving first on the scene.
“He was hanging by his seatbelt, bleeding badly,” Braswell said, adding that he wasn’t responsive.
Montague’s wife, who reportedly assists her husband on the ground, was also quick to arrive on the scene along with another worker.
“She was talking to him and rubbing his side, but he wasn’t responding,” Braswell said. “I asked her if he was still breathing and she said didn’t know.”
USCO said Montague, who was well know in the local farming community, was in the area crop dusting and was the only occupant onboard the aircraft. Montague was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a spokesman with the Sheriff’s office.
Braswell said it appeared the small helicopter’s landing gear clipped the wire.
Deputies responded to the scene at 1:13 p.m. At the time of the reported incident, the victim had not been identified. USCO said it had completed its investigation of the incident and the Federal Aviation Administration came out to the site on Sunday. The National Transportation Safety Board was expected on Monday to conduct its investigation.