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Police identify resident, 91, killed in helicopter crash at Williamsburg townhouse complex

 A Williamsburg firefighter peers into a window of a damaged townhome after a helicopter crashed and burned Sunday, July 8, 2018, at the Bristol Commons townhomes. At least one person has been confirmed dead. (WYDaily/Bryan DeVasher)
A Williamsburg firefighter peers into a window of a damaged townhome after a helicopter crashed and burned Sunday, July 8, 2018, at the Bristol Commons townhomes. At least one person has been confirmed dead. (WYDaily/Bryan DeVasher)

WILLIAMSBURG — Virginia State Police have identified a Williamsburg resident who died after a helicopter crashed into her apartment complex Sunday afternoon.

Jean Lonchak Danylko, 91, resided in one of the apartment units below where the helicopter crashed in the 1100 block of Settlement Drive in Bristol Commons, state police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Anaya said Monday.

Notification has been made to Danylko’s family members.

The fatality remains the only confirmed death thus far in the investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are working to get information on the identity of the pilot, the helicopter and cause of the crash, Anaya said.

“Pilot and aircraft information is still unknown at this time due to structural safety,” Anaya said.

The pilot was the only person on board the Robinson R44, a small four-seat helicopter, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed via Twitter late Sunday.

The helicopter crashed into the apartment building at 4:35 p.m. Sunday, Anaya said. The crash caused the building to catch on fire.

Fire crews worked through Sunday night and Monday morning to put out hot spots in the building.

The crash remains under investigation.

Correction: Virginia State Police initially misspelled the last name of the deceased. The name is spelled Danylko.


Sarah Fearing can be reached at sarah.f@localvoicemedia.com

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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