September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Victims in Colusa County helicopter crash identified

Local News

COLUSA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — All four victims of Sunday’s helicopter crash in Colusa County have been identified.

A representative for the Almond Board of California sent FOX40 a release Monday identifying two of the four victims as 67-year-old Bill Vann and 60-year-old Susie Vann.

Charles Thomas Wilson, 71, and 62-year-old Bobbie Lee Keaton were identified by the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office as the two other victims. 

They were all killed Sunday while onboard a Robinson R66 helicopter that crashed into a tomato field in rural Colusa County. There were no survivors. 

Christopher Wilson has been a neighbor to Charles Wilson since he and his wife moved to Rocklin from Nevada City. 

He says Charles Wilson’s wife told him the news. 

“Then she kind of just starting, droopy eyes and said, ‘Chuck’s gone, helicopter crash.’ I was like ‘Can’t be.’ It’s really sad,” Christopher Wilson recalled.  

FOX40 spoke with Charles Wilson’s wife who said that her husband spent his career working in the field of highway improvement. 

Monday’s release from the Almond Board of California identifies Bill Vann’s company, Vann Family Orchards, as “one of the largest almond processors in northern California.”  

The president and CEO of the Almond Board of California released a statement that read: “On behalf of the Almond Board of California board of directors, staff and the almond growers of California, we mourn the loss of Bill and Susie Vann, and the others who were killed in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday.”  

Bill Vann’s brother and business partner, Garnett Vann, called the couple’s sudden deaths “a shock.” 

“Bill was a hands-on partner who loved both farming and business.  For him, being actively involved in every step of the operation made him the happiest,” Garnett Vann said. “His loss is a shock to our family, our employees and our fellow growers. Despite this tragic accident, the business will continue to move forward as we have been planning for the future for quite some time.” 

The Vanns leave behind four children and seven grandchildren. 

Walt Seaver says he and many others were familiar with the Vanns. 

“Been around for a long, long time and they are quite well-known and loved by a lot of people,” Seaver told FOX40. “It’s a tragedy.” 

Seaver says Bill Vann remained easy-going throughout his life. 

“Went to school with him years ago, a year or two below me. Nice man, very nice man, approachable,” Seaver said.

On Sunday, National Transportation Safety Board said they were sending a team to the area this week to investigate the crash. 

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