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Report: Man in helicopter crash dies

| June 27, 2020 1:00 AM

Jim Charbonneau, one of the two men in a helicopter that crashed Tuesday evening on the Rathdrum Prairie, died Friday. He was 78.

KREM-2 reported that Charbonneau died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he had been in critical condition.

Jay Schrank, 42, of Rathdrum, and Charbonneau of Spokane were both transported to the Seattle hospital’s burn unit after taking an ambulance around 5:30 p.m. to Kootenai Health from the crash site near the intersection of Highway 41 and Wyoming Avenue, about 3 miles west of Hayden.

Two men, Matthew Suhr and Kinzo Mihara, pulled the victims from the crash. They were both passing by when they saw a helicopter flying too low westward over the highway, almost clipping power lines before crashing into a nearby field, they told The Press.

The Federal Aviation Administration has taken over the investigation. They have not said which man was the pilot at the time of the crash.

Charbonneau had previously drawn scrutiny from neighbors and county officials regarding an illegal helipad on his Spokane County property, KREM reported.