Family escapes injury as helicopter hits home
KENOSHA, WIS. -- A helicopter crashed through the roof of a Kenosha home in a residential neighborhood early Sunday morning, rolling down the second-story staircase and narrowly missing a sleeping family of five before coming to a standstill in a...
KENOSHA, WIS. -- A helicopter crashed through the roof of a Kenosha home in a residential neighborhood early Sunday morning, rolling down the second-story staircase and narrowly missing a sleeping family of five before coming to a standstill in a neighbor's lawn across the street, police said.
No one in the house was injured during the 5:30 a.m. crash, but both people in the helicopter were killed, Kenosha Police Sgt. Cindy Fredericksen said. The identities of the deceased were not immediately released.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were just starting to investigate the crash, FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said. Molinaro said he was unable to provide details or a possible cause of the crash.
"It's unbelievable," Fredericksen said of the rubble the copter left in its wake. "It looks like a construction site. I can't imagine what it sounded like."
James Meomartino, a neighbor, said that just before the crash, a strange, loud beeping noise above their heads startled him and his wife awake.
"It was the warning instrument -- like the annoying noise when you don't put your seatbelt on," Meomartino said.
They then heard a loud boom. Meomartino ran outside to find the helicopter on fire in an adjacent yard, he said.
"It was a single bang," Meomartino said. "I looked outside, and it was pitch black, and the helicopter was on fire."
Meomartino said he ran to help the family, a husband, wife, and three children, escape the crash site, bringing them to his house. He served the parents coffee, and the children watched cartoons.
"They were in shock," Meomartino said. "But they were very calm. There was no major problem because they were all alive."
The Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press contributed to this report.