Survivors describe deadly helicopter crash

August 8, 2008 9:06:40 AM PDT
Two of the four people who survived Tuesday night's helicopter crash in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest are now describing the harrowing moments before their chopper went down. They believe the rotors of the aircraft hit tree branches before the crash that killed nine others on board.

Firefighter Richard Schroeder says he heard the pilot say, "Duck! We're going down!"

Another firefighter, Michael Brown, told the LA Times, "I had flashes of rotors hitting trees and we started to go down."

The loss is being strongly felt in several southern Oregon communities where the victims lived. One of the victims, David Steele, played football and graduated from Ashland Senior High School just last year.

"He was just a good solid person, just one of the good old boys, loved being a part of our program," said Charlie Hall, Ashland High School football coach.

Two of the victims have yet to be identified and not all of the bodies have been recovered from the crash site.