Victims in helicopter crash at TV-production site are identified

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Authorities on Monday identified the three people who died in a helicopter crash near Acton on a ranch used by production companies to film movies, TV shows and commercials.

The victims were apparently helping film a reality TV show when the Bell 206 helicopter went down Sunday at about 4 a.m. at the Polsa Rosa Ranch.


[Updated, 7:29 a.m. Feb. 11: Eyeworks USA, a TV production company, was working on a new military-themed reality series for the Discovery Channel, according to a news release posted on Eyeworks Group’s website.

“Eyeworks sends its condolences to all those affected by the helicopter crash during the shooting,” the release said. “We share in our affiliate’s sympathies for the families and others who are now dealing with this tragedy and send them our warmest regards.”]

Investigators have said they are unsure what caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation with help from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Lt. Cheryl MacWillie of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office identified the deceased as David Gibbs, 59, of Valencia, who was the pilot; Michael Donatelli, 45, of Pennsylvania; and Darren Rydstrom, 46, of Whittier.


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-- Ari Bloomekatz