Our TV Partner WVLT News talked to a man who saw the craft come down. He said, “The helicopter seemed to hesitate and then it just suddenly hit the water and the rotor blades exploded.”
Three of the four people made it out okay. A passing pontoon boat spotted them and got them out of the water. They actually refused medical treatment. Rescue crews made it to the scene within 10 minutes and immediately started a rescue operation trying to find the fourth person.
Knoxville Fire Captain DJ Corcoran says several crews were involved in the search: The Knoxville Rescue Squad, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency and the Knoxville Fire Department. Corocran said, “the recovery was made after that first hour around 9:45 p.m.” The fourth person was pronounced dead.
Corcoran says the helicopter was a Eurocopter EC-130. They’ve not said whether it was a local craft or from out of the area. The FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash.