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More Details Released In Deadly Helicopter Crash

More information has been released on Wednesday?s deadly helicopter crash in Teton County, Wyo.

A Teton County Search and Rescue helicopter responded to a snowmobile accident just before noon on a trail near Togwotee Mountain Lodge. The information coming to responders was that one person was probably dead in that accident.

As the helicopter was hovering in search of a landing zone, it suddenly lost altitude and crash-landed in a heavily treed area, the sheriff?s office said Thursday. People on the ground who partially saw the landing reported it to the county communications center.

Authorities were out of contact with the helicopter for 45 minutes, and another helicopter was being mobilized when the first crew made contact. The pilot, Ken Johnson, 62, said he was extremely disoriented and both of his passengers were injured.

Search and rescue, residents, guides from the lodge and emergency services personnel began arriving at the scene at about 2:15 p.m.

Johnson and passenger Mike Moyer, 44, were transported by ground ambulance to St. John?s Hospital Medical Center in Jackson, where both were admitted and treated for their injuries.

Ray Shiver, 63, was pronounced dead after he was flown to the incident command staging area. Shiver had worked on the search and rescue team for 20 years.

The cause of the helicopter crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. The sheriff?s office said Wednesday that the rear rotor on the helicopter might have failed.

Steven Anderson, 53, of Morris, Minn., whom the search team was initially dispatched to rescue, also died Wednesday.

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