Gila County Sheriff's office identifies 3 people involved in helicopter crash at Roosevelt Lake

ROOSEVELT LAKE, AZ - Authorities have released the names of the three people involved in a helicopter crash at Roosevelt lake Friday afternoon.

Gila County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Lt. Tim Scott said Fred Cleeves, 62, George Riedel, 64, and Julie Barba, 49 were on board when the helicopter slammed into the lake east of the Valley.

According to GCSO, all three were pulled from the aircraft by nearby boaters who witnessed the crash.

Two medical helicopters flew the passengers to Phoenix hospitals for evaluation and treatment. Scott said the condition of the three passengers is still unknown at this time.

The helicopter still remains in approximately 60 feet of water. Scott said they plan to remove the helicopter from the water Tuesday if everything goes as planned.

"I guess it was her husband yelling get her out, get her out" said Sherri Kowaski who was boating nearby when the chopper went down. 

She heard it hit the ground then saw three people in the water. 

She and her husband rushed over to pull them out. 

"My husband jumped in to get her. I'm glad she got out because I didn't think she was going to make it. It was not a pretty crash."

Authorities say the Robinson R44 was registered to an Alaskan company and it isn't immediately known why it went down.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash.

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