ALPINE — Two people aboard a helicopter died Friday when it crashed in the mountains north of Alpine, authorities said.
A crew with the Utah Department of Public Safety determined the downed aircraft was the same one reported overdue Friday afternoon by family members of those aboard, said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
He withheld the names of the deceased as police worked to notify their families. The pair had been traveling from eastern Utah to Salt Lake City Friday when the helicopter went down in the rugged terrain, Cannon said. No one else was aboard.Comment on this story
Shifty, rainy weather on Friday afternoon could have been a factor in the crash, Cannon said. Video footage taken Friday evening shows the torn aircraft on a steep, snowy slope surrounded by bare trees.
The Federal Aviation Administration had alerted Utah authorities around 2 p.m. Friday that a four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter flying from Vernal Regional Airport to Salt Lake's South Valley Regional Airport may be missing, an agency spokesman said.
A report to Cannon's office, however, indicated the helicopter had taken off from a private home in the small Uintah County town of Ballard, near Roosevelt.
Teams spent hours combing Alpine's Horsetail Falls area earlier in the day.