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Police and firefighters searched a Maplewood, MInn., yard after a helicopter crashed Wednesday, June 19, 2013, into a garage. Woodbury Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker

Helicopter crashes in Maplewood, Minn., neighborhood

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Helicopter crashes in Maplewood, Minn., neighborhood
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. -- Federal aviation investigators were called this morning to the scene of a helicopter crash in this St. Paul suburb.


A low-flying helicopter believed to be operated by the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, was seen struggling to remain aloft, a witness said, before crashing into a garage.

“It just dropped,” said Tambra Thomas, who had heard the helicopter from her bedroom in a nearby residence, before jumping up to see its sharp descent.

Maplewood police Lt. Kerry Crotty did not say whether the pilot of the helicopter survived the crash, which occurred at 8:13 a.m. She confirmed that a medical examiner was called to the scene.

Damage from the impact was limited to the garage, she said.

Crotty said Federal Aviation Administration investigators were en route to the crash site. She said it wasn’t immediately clear whether the helicopter was spraying for mosquitoes, though Metropolitan Mosquito Control District officials and vehicles were at the scene of the crash.

“Luckily it was just a garage,” Crotty said of the crash site. “It could have definitely been worse.”

Mike Longaecker
Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
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