New Brunswick

Investigation into deadly helicopter crash near Campbellton continues

The probe continues into what caused a Bell 206 helicopter to collide with some power lines, crash into an embankment and then into the Restigouche River near Campbellton, N.B., killing two people. Transportation Safety Board investigators have arrived at the site.

TSB are examining the crash site to determine if it warrants a full investigation

Michel Laplante rescued from the Restigouche River 0:43

The probe into what caused a Bell 206 helicopter to collide with some power lines, crash into an embankment and then into the Restigouche River near Campbellton, N.B., killing two people and injuring another, continues as Transportation Safety Board officials arrived Monday to examine the wreckage.

Quebec hockey player-turned-singer Roberto (Bob) Bissonnette and the pilot, Frederick Décoste, were killed in Sunday's crash. Michel Laplante, president of the Quebec Capitals baseball team, was injured.

A Bell 206 helicopter collided with power lines before ending up in the Restigouche River near Campbellton, N.B., on Sunday, killing two people and injuring another. 0:42

Bissonnette was a Capitals shareholder. Before his musical career, he played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

In an image posted on Instagram and Facebook on Saturday, Bissonnette wrote in French: "Headed to Caraquet, N.B. Quiet in the helicopter!!"

Singer Bob Bissonnette, right, posted this image on Instagram and Facebook on Saturday with the French-language caption: 'Headed to Caraquet, N.B. Quiet in the helicopter!!" Bissonnette and pilot Frederick Décoste, left, were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Michel Laplante, centre, was injured. (Instagram)

The crash occurred around 4 p.m. local time Sunday along Route 11 in Flatlands, about 16 kilometres west of Campbellton.

Transportation Safety Board arrives

RCMP guarded the scene Monday, waiting for members of the province's Emergency Measures Organization to arrive. The provincial Environment Department was also at the scene to check petroleum levels in the river.

The Transportation Safety Board team arrived Monday and are examining the wreckage to see if it warrants a full investigation.

"We will be going to visit the wreckage site and have a look at that as best we can," said TSB investigator Daphne Booth. "Once the wreckage is removed from the water, we will have a better, closer look and we will be able to collect and analyze the data that we have."
Flatlands, N.B., where the helicopter crash occurred, is 16 kilometres from Campbellton. (CBC)

Sunday's crash affected two transmission lines that run between Quebec and Eel River. N.B. Power worked to restore power to 14,000 customers.

The crash happened about 150 metres from the home of Patti Gallie, who said she saw the whole incident.

"Normally we hear helicopters all the time, because they fly up and down the river ... but today it was a noise that was something I hadn't heard before," she told CBC News.
Patti Gallie witnessed the deadly helicopter crash from her home. 1:13

"I went outside to see what it was and as I went outside, I looked down river. And at that point, the helicopter hit right into the power lines, and there was a huge explosion, and it fell right to the river and there were pieces everywhere."

She said the power went out instantly.

"I literally panicked. I was in shock. I tried to find my husband and I was like, 'Oh my God, you've got to do something. I'm sure there's people there,'" she said. "I couldn't believe it. ... It was awful."

First responders were on the scene within minutes, she said.

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