by Max Brantley
Channel 4 reports a National Guard helicopter crash in the Buffalo River in Marion County Yellville today. The chopper apparently lost power and went into the river, but apparently no serious injuries to the three on board. The Buffalo River was closed between Buffalo Point and the Highway 14 bridge, the National Park Service said, as authorities dealt with the accident.
UPDATE: State Police statement:
Arkansas State Police Special Agent Kevin Brown, assigned to the departments Criminal Investigation Division, was among the law enforcement personnel onboard an Arkansas National Guard helicopter which went down this afternoon near the Marion – Searcy County line in the vicinity of Buffalo Point. S/A Brown has been transported to a Baxter County hospital for examination. Initial reports indicate S/A Brown is in good condition. The helicopter was being used in a mission associated with an on-going criminal investigation. Brown is 30 years old and was commissioned as an Arkansas State Trooper in August, 2005.
National Guard release on the jump.
CAMP JOSEPH T. ROBINSON, N.Little Rock, Ark: -- A helicopter from the Arkansas National Guard has gone down this afternoon in the vicinity of Buffalo Point on the Buffalo National River.
At approximately 1:30 this afternoon a OH-58 Helicopter with the Arkansas National Guard's Reconnaissance Air Interdiction Detachment based at Camp Robinson went down along the Searcy-Marion County line in North Central Arkansas in the vicinity of Buffalo Point on the Buffalo National River.
The aircraft was carrying three onboard. The pilot, an Arkansas National Guardsman; a member of the Arkansas State Police and a member of the 20th District Drug Task Force. Initial reports indicate that the three men sustained minor injuries and have been airlifted to an area hospital for assessment.
The aircraft departed from Camp Robinson shortly after noon and stopped in Clinton, Ark. to pick up the members of law enforcement who the National Guard was supporting on an aerial reconnaissance mission. The aircraft left Clinton at approximately 12:45 p.m. and the pilot called Camp Robinson Operations at 1:30 to report the incident.
The National Guard has dispatched a team to the crash site to secure the scene and begin the investigation into what may have caused the mishap.
Names of the individuals onboard the aircraft are being held until family members can be contacted.