UPDATE: Victims of helicopter crash tentatively identified as east Texas couple

DESOTO PARISH, LA. - UPDATE: The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office has recovered the remains of two people from the site of a helicopter crash over Wallace Lake and tentatively identified them as Center, Texas couple Terry and Pam Bailey.

The helicopter crashed early Wednesday on the south side of Wallace Lake in DeSoto Parish

Preliminary information indicates that the Bell B429 the crash is registered to an owner in Center which was the apparent destination of the aircraft that took off from the Shreveport Downtown Airport, according to the FAA.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation.

The crash site, which is spread over 75 to 100 yards wide, is located on a swampy area on the south end of the lake. It took over an hour for authorities to get through the difficult terrain of low water, cypress tree knees and giant salvinia.

A command post has been set up at the end of Wallace Lake Road. Authorities expect the recovery effort to span several days.

DPSO crime scene investigators are processing the scene.

Search for the aircraft began around noon in response to a report of a missing helicopter. The regional FAA said it lost track of the aircraft around 12:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Multiple local emergency response agencies worked to track down the helicopter's last known location using GPS provided by the FAA. The wreckage was found around 1 p.m. by Life Air Rescue.

Then, the hard work began trying to reach the crash site by land. DeSoto sheriff's deputies used its Hydrotrac that can maneuver between land and water. Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office sent its airboat, and the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office provided its hovercraft. Shreveport Fire Department and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also assisted. 

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The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office has recovered the remains of two people from the site of a helicopter crash over Wallace Lake.

The helicopter crashed overnight on the south side of Wallace Lake. Information about the victims is not immediately available.

Preliminary information indicates that the Bell B429 is registered to an owner in Center, Texas, which was the apparent destination of the aircraft that took off from the Shreveport Downtown Airport, according to the FAA.

FAA investigators are on their way to the site and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation.

The crash site, which is spread over 75 to 100 yards wide, is located on a swampy area on the south end of the lake. It took over an hour for authorities to get through the difficult terrain of low water, cypress tree knees and giant salvinia.

A command post has been set up at the end of Wallace Lake Road. Authorities expect the recovery effort to span several days.

DPSO crime scene investigators will process the scene. The FAA has provided guidance on what information they are looking for. FAA is expected to have personnel on site Thursday.

Search for the aircraft began before noon in response to a report of a missing helicopter.

The wreckage was found around 1 p.m. by the DeSoto Parish sheriff's helicopter pilot who was scouring the area.

Emergency response crews then had to assemble equipment to physically get to the site.

Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle described the location as "in the back of Wallace Lake."

Arbuckle said initial information provided to him indicated a man who was piloting his helicopter did not return home last night. The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft was last spotted near the south end of Wallace Lake in DeSoto Parish.

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office is joined by Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, Shreveport Fire Department and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the recovery effort. 

KTBS


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