MALHEUR COUNTY, Oregon — An Eagle man is dead following a weekend helicopter crash in a remote desert area of Malheur County.
The Malheur County Sheriff’s Office was notified about 2:00 a.m. Saturday of a helicopter that had not returned as expected.
“The last contact with radar showed it in the Succor Creek area, about 50 to 60 miles south of Ontario,” said Malheur County Undersheriff Travis Johnson. “We learned a helicopter had crashed on Friday, the 25th sometime around 4:00 p.m. near Top Reservoir, southeast of Succor Creek State Park.”
Malheur County Search and Rescue volunteers were called out and began searching at daylight.
“One of our UTV search teams located the crashed helicopter at 8:20 that morning. The two occupants were Identified as Jim Valentine, a 52-year-old man from Eagle, Idaho, and his daughter Jordan Valentine, a 25-year-old female also of Eagle,” Johnson said.
Jim Valentine was deceased. His daughter was transported by air ambulance to a Boise hospital with multiple injuries. She is currently listed in serious condition.
“She was wearing only light clothing at the time, but managed to make it through a very windy, cold night. Temperatures were around 28 degrees when we arrived on scene,” Johnson said. “Although badly injured, she had the wherewithal to crawl around the aircraft to get out of the wind. It takes a very tough and determined person be able to survive a crash followed by a long cold night.”
The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash.