Kauaians assisted after helicopter crash

Members of local families who had been spending Christmas Day at Isenberg Park rushed to the aid of crashed helicopter pilot Jonathon D’Attilio and emergency-response personnel shortly after the crash at De Mello Reservoir, they said.

Members and friends of the Efhan ‘ohana noticed the helicopter going down, and four family members and County Councilmember Mel Rapozo ran through bushes behind the old Immaculate Conception School site to the reservoir, family members said.

Once on the scene, they assisted a Kaua’i Fire Department firefighter, likely Battalion Chief Bill Quinlan, by holding the helicopter up so Quinlan could free the pilot, family members said.

They assisted Quinlan further by helping to carry the pilot up to flat land, where American Medical Response paramedics where waiting.

Also, one of the family members, KFD Ocean Safety Bureau lifeguard Kaipo Jaquias, followed the initial responders, and helped administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on D’Attilio.

Family member Sherrie Duterte wanted to make sure “our family heroes” are recognized, including Jaquias, Wesley Henderson, and Paul “P.J.” Yadao.

D’Attilio was pronounced dead at Wilcox Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, two days after the Inter-Island Helicopters craft crashed into the reservoir where he was attempting to get water in a bucket to help KFD firefighters battling a stubborn brush fire in Kapaia Valley. The fire forced evacuation of some elderly residents of the Sun Village apartments behind Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

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