Helicopter Pilotís Condition Worsens
Fred Wittlake, 55, the Rogue River helicopter pilot injured when his craft went down in the Umpqua River near Days Creek on Monday is now listed in serious condition at Sacred Heart Center at Riverbend in Springfield.
Wittlake suffered a broken arm and ribs and after being airlifted to Springfield was initially listed in fair condition, but that was downgraded Wednesday.
He was piloting two Fish and Wildlife biologists conducting fish surveys at the time of the accident. The cause of the crash has not been determined but a notification from the F.A.A. noted the helicopter struck power lines before falling into the river.
One of his passengers, Holly Huchko, 34, is in serious condition at Sacred Heart with a broken back. The second passenger, Eric Himmelreich, 35, is in good condition at Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg.