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Helicopter Crash Hits Close To Home For Spokane Media

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A news helicopter crashed in Spokane in 1985 at KREM, killing two people. A news helicopter crashed in Spokane in 1985 at KREM, killing two people.
SPOKANE, Wash. -
Tuesday's crash in Seattle hits close to home for many who work in the Spokane media, especially those who were working almost 30 years ago. That's when a KREM-TV helicopter crashed during take-off, killing the two people on board.  

It happened on May 5th, 1985 when photojournalist Gary Brown and helicopter pilot Cliff Richey set off to shoot the Bloomsday race from the air. However during take-off, the helicopter's rotors hit a TV tower wire about 60 feet off the ground. Both Brown and Richey were killed instantly when the helicopter came crashing to the ground and exploded on impact.

KHQ's Shelly Monahan was working for KREM, covering Bloomsday on the day it happened and after hearing about the tragedy in Seattle, she sat down with KHQ's Kalae Chock to talk about the horrible memories from that day. 

"It was terrible because we cover so much bad news all the time and it was a surreal situation to be the story and to have the other stations interviewing us and talking to us, and I know they said it over in Seattle today, but we're competitive with each other and that day when the helicopter crashed, it was KREM, KXLY and KHQ that were all one big family," Monahan told Chock. 

You can hear Shelly's full account of what happened that day, the friends she lost and how she and her co-workers paid tribute to their fallen colleagues that night in the newscast just hours after the crash by watching the video attached to this story. 


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