DPS: Helicopter crashes in Brazoria County

July 26, 2013 3:31:22 PM PDT
A helicopter has crashed in Brazoria County and investigators are now working to sort out all the details.

State troopers spent the afternoon on the scene at a field off County Road 427 and County Road 530 near Danbury.

Investigators say the helicopter crashed just after 1 pm, and the two people inside managed to get out before it caught on fire.

Tim Salaika, the owner of the aviation company there, says he found an instructor, who is his son, and a student lying here under a tree, waiting for medical help. He has identified them as 32-year-old T.J. Salaika and 66-year-old Jacko Garrett.

Tim Salaika says his son was the instructor but Garrett was flying the aircraft when something went wrong. The helicopter crashed as they were landing and the two men were able to get out quickly, walk nearly a quarter of a mile before it caught on fire.

That fire sparked a 2-acre brush fire, but firefighters were able to put it out quickly before it could threaten any homes.

"I was out flying and I just got back and I was like, 'Oh no this can't be happening.' But then I saw them sitting under a tree so everything was cool," Tim Salaika said.

Both men were airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital after complaining of lower back pain. Tim Salaika tell us both men suffered compound fractures and will spend the night at the hospital.

Investigators haven't determined what caused this crash but the owner says the instructor had been flying his whole life and the student also had experience.

Both the FAA and the NTSB are on their way over there to investigate.

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