published Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Authorities ID 2 people killed in Alabama helicopter crash

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Authorities identified two people killed when a helicopter crashed in western Alabama as David Carson, 63, of Tuscaloosa; and Matthew Wallace, 51, of Hiram, Georgia.

Wallace worked for a private company contracted to work with Alabama Power, said Sgt. Dale Phillips, commander of the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit.

Wallace, a pilot, worked at WSB-TV in Atlanta as a helicopter operator from 1997 to 2003, the television station reported.

Wallace was an "excellent pilot and an even better man," WSB reporter Jason Durden said.

Carson was an Alabama Power employee, The Tuscaloosa News reported.

Carson had worked for the company for 44 years, Joseph Brown, the area manager of Alabama Power's Western Division, told Al.com.

"The Alabama Power family is saddened by the death of David Carson," Brown said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to David's family during this difficult time."

Phillips said the men were conducting maintenance on a high-voltage power line when the crash happened around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the chopper went down about 20 miles northeast of Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa County Chief Deputy Ron Abernathy said the crash site was in a heavily wooded area.

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