The Latest: No distress call from helicopter before crash


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a fatal helicopter crash in Southern California (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

A federal investigator says there was no known distress call from a helicopter that crashed into a Southern California home, killing three people and injuring two others.

Joshua Cawthra, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said Wednesday the helicopter was headed to Catalina Island when it crashed in Newport Beach shortly after takeoff.

The island is southwest of Los Angeles.

The cause of Tuesday’s crash remains unknown.

The helicopter’s pilot was among the three people on board who were killed. A fourth person on board was injured, as was a man on the ground.

Those killed were identified as 60-year-old Joseph Tena of Newport Beach, 45-year-old Kimberly Watzman of Santa Monica, and 56-year-old Brian Reichelt of Hollywood, Florida.


10:07 a.m.

California authorities have released the names of all three people killed when a small helicopter crashed in a Newport Beach neighborhood.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said those who died were 60-year-old Joseph Anthony Tena of Newport Beach, 45-year-old Kimberly Lynne Watzman of Santa Monica, and 56-year-old Brian R. Reichelt of Hollywood, Florida.

The crash Tuesday involved four people in the helicopter and a bystander. Newport Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella says all three people killed were in the helicopter.

No information was released about the two people who were injured.


This item has been corrected to say Brian R. Reichelt was from Florida, not California, per change of information from sheriff’s department.


11:03 p.m.

Officials say three people were killed and two more injured when a helicopter crashed into a home in a suburban Southern California neighborhood.

Authorities say four people were aboard the Robinson R44 helicopter when it went down in Newport Beach on Tuesday afternoon just a few minutes after taking off from John Wayne Airport.

One person who was outside on the ground was involved in the crash, though officials did not specify who died and who was injured.

Neighbor Marian Michaels says she thought it was an earthquake when the helicopter slammed into the house.

Another neighbor, Roger Johnson, says he heard a scream that sounded like it was from a horror movie before rushing to the scene to try to help.


This story has been corrected to show that Brian R. Reichelt was from Hollywood, Florida, not Hollywood, California.

Categories: California News