Pilot Killed, Passenger Hurt Following Helicopter Crash in Oceana County

Posted at 9:52 AM, Dec 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-02 09:52:00-05

LEAVITT TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A pilot was killed and a passenger was hurt after a helicopter crash Saturday afternoon.

The crash happened around 3:30 p.m. in a swampy wooded area of Oceana County.

The Oceana County Sheriff’s Department said Thomas Slocum, 49 of Hart, was flying his 1955 Rotocraft over a large federal forest area at the time of the crash. The area is known locally as Tanner’s swamp.

Police said Matt Williams, 28, of Hart was a passenger and was able to call for help using a cell phone.

Rescue crews had a difficult time reaching the crash site due to the swampy wooded area. Medical crews as well as the DNR, Federal Forrest Rangers , the US Coast Guard and Aeromed were called into help locate the crash site.

After walking across two streams of knee deep water rescue crews had to negotiate down trees and logs before reaching the two men.

They were located around 4:17 p.m.

The two had to be carried over 1,000 feet to reach the tracked all terrain vehicles.

Police said the nearest road was approximately two miles from the crash.

Slocum was pronounced dead at the scene.

Williams was flown by Aeromed to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids.

The crash remains under investigation.