One person dead, three others escape after helicopter crashes into TN River Monday night

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – UPDATE (1:30 p.m.): Joe Clayton, the co-founder of Clayton Automobiles and Clayton Homes, was killed in a helicopter crash in Knoxville on Monday, the Clayton family has confirmed.

The survivors of the crash have been identified as:

  • James “Jim” Clayton, 86
  • John McBride, 65
  • Flynt Griffin, 40

Jim and Joe Clayton found Clayton Homes, a manufactured housing company, in 1966. The company grew into the largest producer and seller of manufactured housing in America before it was sold to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway for $1.7 billion in 2003.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – UPDATE (10:30 p.m.): Around 9:45 p.m. the body of the fourth person in the helicopter crash was recovered by divers, this according to the Knoxville Fire Department.

KFD also reports that the other three people that were aboard the helicopter when it crashed told first responders that they didn’t need medical attention.

At this time the names of the people on board or their relationships to one another have not been released.

KFD: One person still missing, three able to escape helicopter crash into TN River Monday night

EARLIER (9:30 p.m.): Knoxville Fire Department reports that three passengers were able to escape the crash, one person however is still missing at this time.

Rescue efforts remain active to locate the remaining missing person that was aboard the helicopter.

While the three others were attempting to swim to shore, a pontoon boat picked them up and took them to shore.

KFD also says that names of the passengers will be released at a later date/time.

FAA reports four people were aboard the helicopter when it crashed into the TN River

UPDATE: A spokesperson with the FAA released preliminary information that a Eurocopter EC-130 with four people aboard crashed into the Tennessee River four miles west of Downtown Island Airport in Knoxville at 7:40 p.m.

” Local officials will release their names and medical conditions. The FAA will release the aircraft registration at the appropriate time. The FAA will investigate, and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.”


Multiple agencies working helicopter crash in TN River between Alcoa Hwy. & Sequoyah Hills

UPDATE (8:26 p.m.): Knoxville Police Department reports that multiple agencies are working a helicopter crash in the Tennessee River between Alcoa Highway and Sequoyah Hills.

KPD is asking the public to stay away from the area as emergency crews respond for rescue efforts.

UPDATE (8:10 p.m.): Knox County Rescue Squad is responding to reports of an aircraft down at Cherokee Farm Way.

EARLIER: Knoxville Fire Department confirmed to WATE 6 On Your Side that a helicopter has crashed into the Tennessee River Monday night.

There is no additional information available at this time.

We have crews on the way to the scene at this time, we will update you as we learn more.

This is a developing story.


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