Author: Anna

Fire Chief describes pilot as ‘hero, firefighter and public servant’

Fire Chief describes pilot as 'hero, firefighter and public servant'

Veteran firefighter at recruits crash scene had ‘never seen something at this magnitude’

Police believe they’ve found a fourth victim.

A fire captain who helped the first three victims in the helicopter crash that killed five people including the seven-year veteran of the fire department died in a car crash Wednesday, according to authorities.

The crash happened shortly after 7:30 a.m., when the pilot and the captain of a Twin Otter aircraft collided with trees and power lines on Interstate 5 about five miles north of Reno. They died near the city and the plane’s black box was damaged in the crash.

The officer, 58-year-old David T. Williams, was a five-year veteran of the Reno Fire Department and died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash. The pilot’s name has not been released and authorities have not yet ruled whether it is him or someone with him.

‘I’m going to have to deal with it,’ Williams said.

The crash occurred approximately 5 miles south of Reno, where a helicopter crash on March 10 killed the pilot and five people aboard. The crash is currently under investigation.

At a press conference Wednesday evening, Police Chief Chris Giunchigliani described Williams as a ‘hero, firefighter and public servant.’

Williams was well-known to the Reno Fire Department. He graduated from Carson High School and enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno. He joined the Reno Fire Department a year after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He later earned a master’s degree from the University and was hired in 2006.

Williams worked for the Reno Fire Department for eight years, going on to work for the department as the Chief of Operations for the Joint City-County Fire Rescue for five years before being named the Reno Fire Chief for one year.

‘David was a true hero, a true public servant,’ Giunchigliani said.

Reno police said the investigation into the crash is still ongoing.

‘One thing that police have learned is that when a helicopter goes down, sometimes what we think is happening is not the thing that’s happening,’ Giunchigliani told the Reno Gazette Journal.

The pilot, identified as 47-year-old Michael C. Harkins, was a former pilot for the Nevada Air National Guard and was a part of the pilots’ training program between the ages of 17 and 20.

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