M.E. ID’s Arlington pilot, 70, who drowned after copter crash into King Lake

M.E. ID’s Arlington pilot, 70, who drowned after copter crash into King Lake

  • Friday, October 27, 2017 12:31pm
  • News

ARLINGTON – The 70-year-old pilot of a helicopter that crashed into King Lake Monday afternoon has died.

The man was identified as Ernest Stark of Arlington Friday by the medical examiner. Cause of death was drowning.

A passenger was in serious but stable condition. Both were transported by aid car from the lake southeast of Arlington to local hospitals. The accident happened around 1 p.m. and the sheriff’s office dive team responded. The helicopter had been airborne between 60 and 90 seconds when neighbors heard strange sounds and called 9-1-1.

Neighbor Jeffrey Abrams told KOMO News that he watched the helicopter fly 6 to 10 feet above the lake, then the skids hit the lake, and the chopper nose-dived into the water. “It was a significant loud bang, almost like an explosion.”

He asked his wife to call 9-1-1 and ran for his small boat. The helicopter had already sank in the water.

“I started to row,” Abrams said. “I just wanted to save those two men,” both of whom he knows.

One man was swimming toward a log, and the second was just floating. He picked up the floating man and eventually hooked him to the front of the boat.

Abrams told Q-13 that he tried to give chest compressions to the man on the side of the boat. He couldn’t pull him into the dinghy because that would have tipped it over, he said.

The second man got into the boat. As Abrams was rowing to shore, emergency crews arrived and began CPR on the man who was floating, Abrams said.

There is no word yet what led up to the crash.

Abrams said he was on his deck when the crash happened, enjoying the sunny day. He added that the pilot has flown the helicopter to the area in the past.

“It was traumatizing, nerve wracking, upsetting and frightening,” he said.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were at the scene. The state Ecology Department is on hand to deal with fuel spills.

M.E. ID’s Arlington pilot, 70, who drowned after copter crash into King Lake
M.E. ID’s Arlington pilot, 70, who drowned after copter crash into King Lake
M.E. ID’s Arlington pilot, 70, who drowned after copter crash into King Lake
M.E. ID’s Arlington pilot, 70, who drowned after copter crash into King Lake

More in News

Lions Clubs ‘Give Big for Health’ White Cane Days on Giving Tuesday

Undeterred by COVID, clubs fundraise online for vision, hearing and health screening programs

Inslee: Stay home for 2 weeks

By Jerry Cornfield and Zachariah Bryan The Herald OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Fences have been put up around Marysville playgrounds to keep kids off. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville leaders concerned as (almost) everything’s closing

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – Within hours of Gov. Jay Inslee’s… Continue reading


Beware of coronavirus scams SEATTLE – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is… Continue reading

Jennifer Thompson, left, and her father Ron Thompson secure a new remembrance plaque to the Oso slide site gate on Sunday, near Oso. Ron Thompson handcrafts a new plaque for the gate every year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community remembers Oso slide victims, survivors

By Ben Watanabe The Herald OSO — The power of remembering the… Continue reading

People gather to pick up special allergy meals before leaving Lakewood High School on Wednesday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Districts taking meals to students since schools are closed

By Stephanie Davey The Herald LAKEWOOD — Children wearing pajamas stood outside… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Letter about coronavirus from Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

This is an edited version of a letter Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring… Continue reading

DOUGLAS BUell/Staff Photos                                Lead cook Keina Gowins with Presidents Elementary hands out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students and parents outside the school Wednesday. Presidents and AHS serve as central kitchen sites for preparing meals, which starting next week will expand to 12 delivery sites from Silvana to Oso. Right, Arlington Food Bank executive director Carla Gastineau and Mike Simpson, food bank board president and owner of Arlington Grocery Outlet, partnered with the district with their Meals Til Monday program, and gave a woman a box of donated food while at Presidents.
Arlington students won’t go hungry during the COVID-19 school closures

ARLINGTON – Arlington schools are closed through April 24 to help fight… Continue reading

Scott Beebe hands out Chromebooks to people in their cars. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville parents anxious to pick up school materials for kids

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – A few days ago Marysville schools… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more… Continue reading

Crews will blow garbage into the street and sweep it up over the next few weeks. The city is asking people to move their cars, trash cans and recycle bins when they come around to help them do a thorough job. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville shuffles workers due to virus, seeks public’s help for sweepers next week

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe. MARYSVILLE – From working from home to teleconferencing… Continue reading