TOM FINNEGAN / TFINNEGAN@STARBULLETIN.COM
The helicopter owned by Heli USA Airways that crashed Friday is shown here in a Lihue Airport hangar on Tuesday as federal investigators went over the craft looking for structural or mechanical problems. The investigators were scheduled to leave Kauai last night, and a full report will take at least a few months.
Copter crash victims did not die from impact
LIHUE » The pilot and all five passengers aboard Friday's Heli USA crash off Kauai's North Shore were alive when the aircraft hit the water.
According to autopsy results released yesterday by Kauai police, Catherine Baron, 68, and Mary Soucy, 62, both from Portland, Maine, drowned, and Laverne Clifton, 68, from Beloit, Wis., suffered cardiac arrest due to near drowning.
The pilot, Glen Lampton, 43, as well as Clifton's daughter, Karen, 44, and her husband, Bill Thorson, 48, survived the wreck, which occurred during a strong thunderstorm.
Also yesterday, National Transportation Safety Board investigators interviewed Inter-Island pilot Ian Bagano and owner Ken D'Attilio, D'Attilio said. Lampton has told NTSB officials that he had to avoid Bagano's aircraft when he entered the thunderstorm.
Bagano told NTSB officials he was nowhere near the Heli USA craft after turning around to avoid the thunderstorm, D'Attilio said.
Thorson and Karen Clifton-Thorson also said they never saw or heard of a second aircraft in the area.
Heli USA Vice President John Power said he could not comment on the discrepancy as part of the agreement to cooperate with investigators.
The investigators were scheduled to leave Kauai last night, and a full report will take at least a few months.