US Navy contractor names 4 killed in Hawaii helicopter crash
HONOLULU (AP) — A civilian contractor working for the U.S. Navy on Wednesday disclosed the names of four employees killed when their helicopter crashed on the Hawaii island of Kauai.
Croman Corp. said 64-year-old Daniel Maurice of Lyle, Washington, was the aircraft’s chief pilot.
Three Kauai residents who were on board also were killed. Patrick Rader, 55, was the command pilot. Ericka Tevez-Valdez, 42, and Mathew Haider, 44, were mechanics.
Croman said the crew was conducting routine training operations at the Pacific Missile Range Facility under contract with the Navy when their Sikorsky S-61N helicopter crashed shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
The Pacific Missile Range Facility is a Navy base on the western edge of Kauai where the military tests missile defense technology and various units conduct exercises.
Croman, which is based in White City, Oregon, has provided commercial air support service to the Navy at the Kauai base since 2007.
Haider was originally from Springfield, Oregon, and lived on Kauai for two years with his wife, said his mother, Penny Haider. He had two children from a previous marriage, she said.
Her son took his job as a helicopter mechanic seriously, she said.
“Matt was a very action-oriented type of person,” she said. “Even though this work was intense, he thrived on that intensity.”
___ AP Researcher Randy Herschaft in New York City contributed to this report.