Pearl Harbor Crash: 16-Year-Old Boy Died On Monday

Pearl Harbor Crash: 16-Year-Old Boy Died On Monday
Helicopter from Pixabay

A 16 year old, one of the passengers of the helicopter involved in the Pearl Harbor crash last week, died on Monday.


The teenager, along with three family members, was flying in a tour helicopter which crash landed into the water near the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center on Thursday. The names of the family members have not been released.

Witnesses said that the boy was trapped underwater. In order to free him, he had to be cut free. He was transported to the hospital after the accident, according to Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright. “We are told bystanders jumped in to help rescue these patients from the water,” Enright said.

One of those who helped rescue the teenager was Chris Gardner, who was at the scene with a group of tourists at the time of accident. “[The boy] was strapped into his seat in the back of the aircraft,” he said. He went on to describe that he, together with a Navy sailor, a federal police officer and another man dove into the water and tried to free the passenger with a knife.

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In a statement, Gidget Ruscetta, chief operating officer at Pali Momi Medical Center, said: “So that the 16-year-old’s memory lives on, the family has chosen to donate his organs to patients in need.”

KGMB-TV reported that two other passengers, a 50 year old man and a 45 year old woman, were also taken to the hospital where they remain in stable condition. The third member of the family was treated at another hospital. The pilot of the helicopter, Ryan Rohner, remains in serious condition at the Tripler Army Medical Center.

Roy Gano, a witness to the incident, told KGMB in an email about his reaction as he saw the helicopter crashing. “My initial reaction was, ‘This helicopter is kinda low flying,’” he said. “It then hovered for a sec and then started to descend. It was not spinning out of control, but it was dropping at a good rate. It narrowly missed the rocky edge and turned to its side … I saw people dive into the water to help.”

According to the Navy, the helicopter belongs to Genesis Aviation. After the aircraft was pulled out, it was transported to Genesis Aviation’s hangar at the airport. The National Transportation Safety Board will be conducting an investigation into the matter.

Justice Winrich said she watched the helicopter as it “plopped down” into the water. It crashed next to the visitor center’s lawn, she said. “I saw it like as it was coming in, and it looked pretty normal. It didn’t look like it was shaking or anything,” Winrich said. “It just started like getting really close this way and started going down.” Justice’s father, Shawn Winrich, captured the incident on tape.

As reported by ABC News, the crash in question is the second helicopter related incident in Oahu. In January this year, a crash involving two military helicopters resulted in the deaths of 12 Hawaii based Marines.

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