Three Texas wildlife researchers died in a helicopter crash Saturday while surveying for desert bighorn sheep, authorities said.
The chopper carrying the victims, all employed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, went down in the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area that borders Mexico in the southwestern part of the state.
The employees were identified by the agency as wildlife biologist Dewey Stockbridge, Fish and Wildlife Technician Brandon White, and State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Bob Dittmar.
The pilot of the helicopter survived the crash and was hospitalized in El Paso.
“No words can begin to express the depth of sadness we feel for the loss of our colleagues in this tragic accident,” said Carter Smith, TPWD Executive Director.
“Wildlife conservation in Texas lost three of its finest as they so honorably and dutifully carried out their calling to help survey, monitor and protect the bighorns of their beloved west Texas mountains,” said Smith.
The cause of the wreck is under investigation.
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