Investigation into helicopter crash at Rome Airport underway


ROME, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — According to Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office three passengers were involved in the helicopter accident and have sustained minor injuries.

According to police, around 1:47 p.m., Deekpak Dherny, 69, of Rome, was piloting a civilian helicopter and was approaching the runway in an attempt to land when warning alarms began to sound. Dherny continued to approach the runway and about 20-30 feet off the runway, but suddenly lost power and fell to the ground. The aircraft then bounced back into the air, impacted the ground for a second time, then rolled onto its left side before coming to a complete stop.

Dherny suffered minor cuts to his head and face. Three passengers were not seriously injured and were able to get out of the downed aircraft themselves before first responders arrived on the scene.

The front left passenger, Charles Lewis, 53, of Lexington, South Carolina suffered from minor cuts and an injury to his left shoulder. He has been transported by AmCare Ambulance to Rome Hospital. The rear left passenger, Joseph Fernandez, 50, of Broomfield, Colorado, also suffered from minor cuts, as well as an injury to his lower back. He also has been transported to Rome Hospital.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been contacted and will be conducting their investigation at a later time. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by AmCare Ambulance, Rome Fire Department, Rome Police Department, Griffis Airport Fire Department and Griffis International Airport personnel.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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