Police identify 2 workers who were injured in Boutte helicopter crash, 1 who died

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BOUTTE, LA – The crewman who died when a helicopter servicing Entergy power lines in a remote area near Boutte yesterday has been identified.

Thirty-three-year-old Ryan Lamont Cardwell of Watonga, Oklahoma, was killed when the helicopter plummeted to the ground around 11 a.m. on May 20, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Crewmember Chance Mills, a 33-year-old from Missouri, sustained severe injuries in the crash, while 38-year-old pilot Kenneth Gestal, who is from Florida, sustained less severe injuries.

The trio were working for a company named Air2, a subcontractor of Entergy tasked with maintaining the right-of-way of transmission lines, according to the SCPSO.

The helicopter landed in a marshy area only accessible by airboat and all terrain vehicles equipped with tracks, complicating the recovery efforts.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have taken over the investigation into the crash, according to the SCPSO.


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