Former Rio Dell Man Dies When Safety Harness Failed While Working From a Helicopter
A former Fortuna High School student and resident of Rio Dell, Travis Chiokai, died November 7 in a tragic accident while working on power lines. According to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana,
[On November 7,] at approximately 9:30 a.m. the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the area of N. Claiborne Street and W. Houston River Road in Sulphur in reference to two men who had fallen from a helicopter. When deputies arrived they discovered two men, both in their 20’s and both from California, deceased. During further investigation it was learned the two men were working on the electrical lines in the area from a helicopter. It appears their safety harness was rubbing against the power lines, causing it to snap and causing them to fall about 100 feet from the helicopter. Both men were pronounced dead by medical personnel at the scene.
Foul play is not suspected, the deaths appear to be accidental….
UPDATE: The two men have been identified as Nicholas Gamalski, 27, and Travis Chiokai, 26, both from California.