GARFIELD COUNTY — The St. George pilot involved in a helicopter crash with his 14-year-old son Sunday near Escalante was Duane Fielding, according to a statement released by Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
Fielding and his son were sightseeing around 1 p.m. when the Robinson R22 helicopter they were in began experiencing trouble and crashed 9 miles up Main Canyon west of Escalante, Cheryl Church, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said.
“Mr. Fielding attempted to turn the helicopter around and it was hit by a gust of wind,” Church said, “causing the tail to hit the ground and crash.”
Fielding and his son were transported to Garfield Memorial Hospital in Panguitch for their injuries. Fielding was later transported via Life Flight to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George to undergo surgery for a fractured L-2 vertebrae suffered during the crash.
The R22 is the same type of aircraft involved in an April 2014 crash on the west side of Desolation Canyon in Emery County that killed Washington City resident Robin Venuti and Beaver resident Albert Munoz Rubio.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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