Pilot dies in news chopper crash11/19/2000 07:00:00 PM Eastern
A helicopter leased to KRIV(TV) Houston crashed into an empty storefront late Thursday night, killing the pilot, identified as 38-year-old Donald Sumner Jr., an employee of Helicopter Services Inc. He had just dropped KRIV(TV) photographer Don Benskin at Hobby Airport. Witnesses told local news that the chopper made several circles before going down and they believed he was trying to avoid crashing into nearby homes. Station Vice President and General Manager D'artagnan Bebel praised the pilot "for his heroic efforts in trying to save lives by avoiding impact with surrounding apartments and houses."