TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCE, N.M. (KRQE) - Three people died Saturday morning when a small helicopter crashed near Truth or Consequences.
New Mexico State Police say the helicopter was privately owned and all three people on board the helicopter died in the crash.
The crash happened just before noon in Sierra County about five miles south of T or C near State Road 187 between Las Palomas and Caballo.
There were several witnesses to the crash, and the Truth or Consequences Herald reported the helicopter was taking off when it may have clipped a power line and crashed.
The official cause is still under investigation though.
The victims have been identified as William Brownfield, 61, of Caballo, Duane Zietlow, 78, of Elephant Butte and the pilot, Ebenezer Priebe, 34, of Tucson, Ariz.
"On this particular crash, there was no fire associated with it," State Police Sgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez told KRQE News 13. "However you just have a mangled mass of metal of what once was a helicopter when officers arrived on scene."
State Police say the investigation will soon be turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board.
It's not clear if the pilot was giving a tour or headed to a specific destination, police said.
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