Bell family perishes in helicopter crash

A Bell family died in a helicopter crash west of Bronson on Thursday evening.

The accident claimed the lives of Ronald Hicks, 36; his wife, Shelly Hicks, 32; and their two children, Parker, 8, and Jaylyn, 5.

According to a Levy County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) online report, the LCSO 911 Center received a call of a possible aircraft crash around 8:30 p.m. and was followed by a call from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reporting a distress beacon from the same general location.

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LCSO deputies discovered the crash scene off NE 60th Lane near Wekiva Road west of Bronson. Investigators learned the family departed a private residence southwest of Bronson in a privately owned Robinson helicopter and was returning to their home in Gilchrist County.

LCSO detectives are working with National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FAA officials to determine what caused the crash.

Helicopter crash scene - Bell family perishes

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