Harriet Nicholson, 60, dies at a New York hospital, a city spokeswoman says
One woman died instantly and another died a week later, officials have said
The helicopter crashed into the East River shortly after takeoff October 4
A 60-year-old woman on Sunday became the third person to die as a result of a helicopter crash last month in New York’s East River, said a spokeswoman for the city’s medical examiner’s office.
Harriet Nicholson was pronounced dead at approximately 3:22 a.m. Sunday at Bellevue Hospital, said Ellen Borakove from the office of the chief medical examiner.
After an autopsy, officials determined that she died due to “respiratory complications of near-drowning,” according to Borakove.
Nicholson was among those on board a Bell 206 Jet Ranger that plunged into the water on October 4, moments after pilot Paul Dudley had radioed that his aircraft was experiencing problems, National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind said last month.
Authorities initially said that one woman – Sonia Marra of Sydney, Australia, who died on her 40th birthday – was the only fatality, with four others reported injured. Marra was trapped in the craft’s back seat as it sank, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Helen Tamaki, 43, died the following week.
A source close to the investigation identified Harriet and Paul Nicholson, one of now two survivors, as Marra’s mother and stepfather. Tamaki was a family friend, according to the source. The pilot, Dudley, is the other survivor.
A 15-member team from the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, which happened shortly after takeoff from a riverside helipad.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents Manhattan’s East Side in Congress, said in a previous statement that she was “saddened and deeply concerned” about the crash.
“There have been at least 28 helicopter crashes in our city over the last three decades,” she said. “Federal transportation officials should investigate not only the causes of this crash, but also whether it is safe to have such a high volume of helicopter traffic over our densely populated city.”