GASTON, Ore. -- A helicopter crashed Thursday morning near Hagg Lake Park after getting tangled in steel cables at takeoff.
The crash occurred around 8 a.m. at the Stimson Lumber Mill at 49800 SW Scoggins Valley Road, according to Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Witnesses told deputies that the 1969 Bell 47G-3B-2 helicopter only made it about 20 feet in the air before it came down.
The pilot, Warren Larson, 31, of California, was carrying a bucket of mosquito treatment suspended from the helicopter by cables. Larson was planning to drop the chemicals into a log pond when the right landing gear became entangled by a cable. The helicopter tipped to the side while in the air and crashed, according to Ray.
Four men on the ground were within 40 feet of the helicopter, saw the problem, and ran behind a nearby pickup truck.
“They narrowly escaped serious injury as debris and pieces of the aircraft were launched through the air, some damaging the pickup they were behind,” Ray said. “Another large piece of metal was catapulted through the cab of a Dodge pickup and landed about 150 feet away.”
Larson was treated for minor head and arm injuries. He works for Western Helicopter Services in Newberg, deputies said.
Below, 911 call made after the crash