Evidence Search of Helicopter Crash Site

August 10, 2023
Cabazon, CA

Written by: Richard Yocum

On the evening of 8/6/2023 a CAL FIRE Sikorsky S-64 “Skycrane” and a Bell 407 helicopter collided midair at an altitude of approx. 2,400’ above sea level and several hundred feet above ground level near Cabazon while both were fighting fire nearby. A main rotor blade of the Bell struck a tire of the Sikorsky.

The Sikorsky sustained minor damage and no injuries to the crew and was able to land. The Bell was destroyed and all three persons on board died in the crash, which ignited a fire at the site.

After the NTSB, FAA, and CAL FIRE had completed their work at the crash site, RMRU was requested to assist with additional searching of the site. On 8/10/2023, 8 members of RMRU along with Desert SAR and Riverside County Search Dogs conducted a coordinated ground search of the area.

RMRU conveys its heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of the firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

RMRU Members Involved: (James Eckhardt, Michael George, Glenn Henderson, Tobias Moyneur, Vinay Rao, Steve Rider, Ray Weden, Richard Yocum)

Other Agencies Involved:
• Riverside County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team
• Riverside County Search Dogs
• Desert SAR Team