Rescue Helicopter Crashes While Responding to Wyoming Snowmobile Accident
The accident took place at Wyoming’s Togwotee Mountain, located about 6.7 miles (10.7 kilometers) south of the Togwotee Mountain Lodge, after Teton County Dispatch received a call at 11:48 am local time. The call reported a snowmobile accident on the mountain.
A Teton County Search and Rescue Bell 407 helicopter (N407HL) crewed by a pilot and two Search and Rescue members was dispatched at 12:24 pm local time and landed at the scene of the accident shortly after. 53-year-old Steven Anderson, of Morris, Minnesota, was killed as a result of the snowmobile accident while his family and friends were unharmed.
After confirming Anderson had died, the helicopter left the scene in order to return later with additional personnel. But the aircraft began experiencing difficulty and disappeared from the sight of witnesses after going over a ridge, officials said.
Radio contact with the helicopter was lost for approximately 45 minutes, but the crew later re-established contact and informed Teton County Dispatch of their situation and position. 63-year-old Ray Shriver, a member of the Teton County Search and Rescue (SAR) team, was killed in the accident.
“Our team and the Teton County community has suffered a tragic loss,” the county’s SAR said in a statement. “Ray Shriver was a thoughtful and patient teacher, committed to the highest standards of training and rescue, a gifted dog handler, a loyal team member and completely dedicated to this community, our dear friend and family member.”
The causes of both crashes are under investigation.