USA:Statement regarding the USDA Forest Service Helicopter Crash near Center, Texas
by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns
“A helicopter flight carrying two U.S. Department of Agriculture ForestService employees and a pilot under contract with the Forest Service yesterdaycrashed in southeast Texas. Charles Edgar, fire management officer on the SabineNational Forest, John Greeno, Bald Mountain heliport manager with the Mi-WokRanger District on the Stanislaus National Forest in California, and Jose’Victor Gonzalez, a pilot with the Brainerd Company in Minnesota, all perished inthe crash.
“I would like to express my sincerest condolences for the terrible lossof life caused by yesterday’s Forest Service helicopter crash in Texas. Mywarmest compassion goes out to the family and loved ones of Charles Edgar, JohnGreeno, and Jose’ Victor Gonzalez, who were conducting important work in theSabine National Forest to reduce hazardous fuels and protect communities fromthe threat of wildland fire. My heartfelt sympathy is also extended to theForest Service and Brainerd Company coworkers experiencing grief at this timefrom this tragedy.
“USDA and the Forest Service stand ready to assist the NationalTransportation Safety Board in its investigation into the cause of the crash.”