Remains of Victims in North Slope Helicopter Crash Recovered and Identified

Helicopter crash site. Image-North Slope Borough
Helicopter crash site. Image-North Slope Borough

The North Slope Police Department in Utqiagvik released the names of the crash victims in Thursday’s helicopter crash 50 miles outside of that community. The victims were 51-year-old Fairbanks resident Ronald Daanen, 27-year-old Fairbanks resident Justin Germann, 26-year-old South Bend, Indiana resident Tori Moore, and 48-year-old pilot and North Pole resident Bernard “Tony” Higdon. 

The 1996 Bell 206 helicopter, owned by Maritime Helicopters, went down and crashed into a Tundra lake for reasons currently unknown. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash and efforts are underway to remove the helicop[ter from the lake,

The victims were working for Alaska Department of Natural Resources conducting field work in the area when the incident occurred.

While the accident occurred on Thursday, volunteers from the Alaska Dive Search, Rescue, and Recovery Team didn’t access the scene until Saturday night and the remains weren’t recovered from the crash until Sunday morning. Once recovered the remains were flown to Utqiagvik then to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage for autopsy.