October 28, 2013
ROSEBURG, Ore.—Two ODFW employees were injured today when the helicopter they were riding in crashed in the South Umpqua River. The biologists were conducting fall chinook spawning surveys.
Holly Huchko, 34, suffered a broken back. Huchko is an assistant district fisheries biologist and has been with the department 10 years. Eric Himmelreich, 35, broke two vertebrae in the crash. He has been with ODFW as a fisheries habitat biologist for just over one year. Both biologists work out of the Roseburg office for the Umpqua Fish District.
The helicopter pilot was air lifted to a Eugene hospital. His condition is not known.
Both Huchko and Himmelreich remain hospitalized this evening, where they are with family members and ODFW friends. “Our thoughts are with Holly, Eric, the pilot and their families tonight,” said Larry Cooper, SW Region Manager.
Biologists conduct several spawning ground surveys a year in the South Umpqua River.