South Bend native dies in helicopter crash in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A South Bend woman died in a helicopter crash in Alaska on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

The North Slope Police Department identified her as 26-year-old Tori Moore.

Moore was a scientist with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources' Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey.

She and two other victims were doing fieldwork on the remote North Slope when the crash occurred.

The other members on board include 51-year-old Ronald Daanen and 27-year-old Justin Germann, both of Fairbanks, Alaska, and pilot Bernard “Tony” Higdon, 48, of North Pole, Alaska. All four victims' bodies were recovered on Sunday. 

The helicopter crashed in a shallow lake near the small coastal town of Wainwright, 50 miles from the United States' northernmost city, Utqiagvik.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources released the following statement on Facebook:

"The Department of Natural Resources is mourning the loss of three Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys teammates and their pilot in a helicopter crash on the North Slope.

Today, search and rescue officials confirmed that four victims had been found in the wreckage of the helicopter initially located early Friday morning. The crew was doing field survey work outside of Utqiaġvik.

It is with very heavy hearts we announce the loss of DGGS employees Ronnie Daanen, Justin Germann and Tori Moore, along with pilot Tony Higdon.

DNR will remain in close contact with their families, and continue to offer our prayers and condolences to all of their loved ones.

The Department is beginning the process of grieving for our colleagues, supporting our team through this challenging time, and working with partner agencies to learn everything we can about this incident.

We are grateful to the North Slope Borough Search & Rescue and Police Departments, the Alaska Department of Public Safety, the Alaska State Troopers, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Red Cross, and especially the volunteer Alaska Dive, Search, Rescue, and Recovery Team for their efforts to locate and recover our coworkers.

Thank you all for your support of the DNR family during this tragedy."

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