Clipped From Ukiah Daily Journal
THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL Six dead in copter crash at desert fort FORT IRWIN (AP) — A predawn helicopter crash during training exercises at this remote desert post killed six soldiers and injured another early Saturday, U.S. Army officials said. The soldiers were aboard a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter when the aircraft went down at about 4 a.m. in an area 14 miles northeast of Fort Irwin's main garrison, said Maj. John Wagstaffe. All the soldiers involved were from the First Cavalry Division based in Fort Hood, Texas, Wag- staffe said. They were at the 1,000-square-mile desert base 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles for a three-week training exercise that ended today. Wagstaffe said there was no other aircraft involved in the crash. Sgt. 1st Class Armando Carrasco, a public affairs spokesman at Fort Irwin, identified the dead as: Lt. Col. William C. Whittingstall; Capt Marlon D. Joseph; 1st Lt. Robert B. Wilson; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Roy A. Westbrook; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Delbert S. Morrow and Staff Sgt. Stephen P. Thompson. Ages and hometowns for the victims were unavailable, Carrasco said. Corp. Scott A. Mathews was first treated at the fort's Weed Army Community Hospital and later was transferred to Loma Linda Hospital in San Bernardino, Carrasco said. He said the man suffered a broken right leg and a bruised lung, and was listed in stable condition. The crash was under investigation by local U.S. Army officials and a team from the U.S. Army Safety Center in Fort Rucker, Ala. "Once the team from Fort Rucker completes its investigation in another day or so we should have a better idea of what caused the crash," said Capt. Gary Cleland, a fort spokesman.