Helicopter Crash Near Seattle's Space Needle

Mar 18, 2014

This image, provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation, shows black smoke from the helicopter crash in downtown Seattle.
Credit 7:37 a.m. on Tuesday. Credit Twitter Photo/WSDOT

Two people were killed in the crash of a news helicopter near the Seattle Space Needle Tuesday morning.  They were identified as longtime KOMO-TV news photographer Bill Strothman, 62, of Bothell, and pilot Gary Pfitzner, 59, of Issaquah.  

The helicopter was on assignment for KOMO-TV when it went down outside Fisher Plaza. Eyewitnesses said the chopper was attempting to land on the station's seventh-floor helipad when it lurched to the side and fell to the street below.  Debris and burning fuel hit three cars.  One driver, Richard Newman, 38, of Seattle, was hospitalized in critical condition.  That was later upgraded to serious.  The other drivers reportedly escaped injury.