The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office has recovered the remains of two people from the site of a helicopter crash over Wallace Lake and tentatively identified them as Center, Texas couple Terry and Pam Bailey.
The helicopter crashed early Wednesday on the south side of Wallace Lake in DeSoto Parish
Preliminary information indicates that the Bell B429 the crash is registered to an owner in Center which was the apparent destination of the aircraft that took off from the Shreveport Downtown Airport, according to the FAA.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation.
The crash site, which is spread over 75 to 100 yards wide, is located on a swampy area on the south end of the lake. It took over an hour for authorities to get through the difficult terrain of low water, cypress tree knees and giant salvinia.
A command post has been set up at the end of Wallace Lake Road. Authorities expect the recovery effort to span several days.
DPSO crime scene investigators are processing the scene.
Search for the aircraft began around noon in response to a report of a missing helicopter. The regional FAA said it lost track of the aircraft around 12:20 a.m. Wednesday.
Multiple local emergency response agencies worked to track down the helicopter's last known location using GPS provided by the FAA. The wreckage was found around 1 p.m. by Life Air Rescue.
Then, the hard work began trying to reach the crash site by land. DeSoto sheriff's deputies used its Hydrotrac that can maneuver between land and water. Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office sent its airboat, and the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office provided its hovercraft. Shreveport Fire Department and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also assisted.
Center Mayor David Chadwick issues statement on deaths of Terry and Pam Bailey
The City of Center grieves with the family of Pam and Terry Bailey in the tragic loss of these two native citizens and friends. Mr. and Mrs. Bailey had a deep love for their community and enjoyed being a part of its growth and success. We will miss their devotion to our community and its citizens, their vision and spirit of entrepreneurship, their generosity and Christian witness in their daily walk. They have enriched our lives and leave a lasting footprint on our community.
David Chadwick, Mayor City of Center
Deer Breeders Corp. issued the following statement
With heavy hearts we will remember...
We, the entire deer breeding community along with the friends and family of Terry and Pam Bailey have suffered a tragic loss with their passing. Our sadness and shock cannot be put into words as our hearts grieve. The kindness and sincerity of both was unparalleled and their absence will leave an irreplaceable void. Please keep James Butler and the entire High Roller and Venado Creek Whitetail family in your thoughts and prayers. We ask the deer breeding community nationwide and anyone who would like to join us, to stand in remembrance at 12:00 P.M. CST Friday, February 17th, for a moment of prayer for the friends and family of Terry and Pam. May God give peace and comfort to us all.