NTSB wrapping up investigation at helicopter crash site in Williamsburg


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) —  The National Transportation Safety Board is wrapping up its “on site” investigation into the helicopter accident in Williamsburg.

The chopper crashed into the Bristol Commons townhome community Sunday afternoon.

91-year-old Jean Danylko died in her home.

The pilot, Henry Schwarz of Alexandria, Virginia, also died.

10 On Your Side went to the community Tuesday to learn the latest on the investigation and what’s next for the 10 people who cannot go into their homes.

Residents could only look on and wonder what they’ll find inside as investigators kept them at a safe distance.

“I tried and they had this tape around there and they said don’t cross that tape or you’ll be prosecuted.” a woman named Barbara told 10 On Your Side.

She said that she was getting upset and in her grief first responders showed her and others great compassion.

The fire chief brought out the one thing she wanted from inside. “I asked him, my husband’s ashes were in there and I just couldn’t stand the thought of anything else happening to the house.”

For 44 years she was married to Jim.  Barbara said he passed just two years ago. “I miss him.”

Another woman was missing her dog, Princeton.

They were both inside her home when the chopper crashed right into it. She got out but the dog disappeared for 24 hours.

Her son told WAVY.com the dog emerged for a happy reunion Monday night as investigators combed through the ashes.

“We have removed nearly all of the wreckage,” Doug Brazy with the NTSB told WAVY on Tuesday afternoon.

The city will store the pieces of the aircraft until the NTSB finds a place for it.

The feds anticipate wrapping up on scene Tuesday evening and continuing their investigation from their offices for about 18 months as the try to determine what happened.

“But more importantly and more usefully to figure out if something can be done to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future,” Brazy said.

Residents may be able to get inside in a day or two, once insurance adjusters do their jobs.

In the meantime the Red Cross offered services to the 10 displaced, but most declined.

Management tells 10 On Your Side they have other units available for residents if they need them.

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