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West Virginia man among the dead in work related helicopter crash in Pa.


SMETHPORT, Pa. — A West Virginia man is among the victims killed in a helicopter crash Sunday on a job site in Pennsylvania.  Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are involved in the investigation.

Shane Filkins, 23, of Point Pleasant was one of the two victims who died. Also killed was Michael Koon, 35, of South Carolina. The two were employed by J.W. Didado Electric and were contracted by First Energy to help run a new transmission line between two sub-stations in a rugged area of northeast Pennsylvania.

“They were using a helicopter to assist in stringing wires between the wooden pole structures along the route,” said Doug Colafella with First Energy. “The cause of the crash is still unknown.”

The pilot survived the crash and remains hospitalized in critical condition. Colafella could not say if the men killed were aboard the helicopter or if they were on the wooden towers at the time of the accident. He said both men were trained in the highly specialized work.

“It’s very highly specialized line work where these individuals do aerial construction work no these transmission towers and they are ferried there on a helicopter,” he said. “They’re very highly trained to do this type of work.”

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