Michael Monson, president of Monson Fruit Co., was killed in a helicopter crash Saturday during a fishing trip on a remote river in British Columbia, Canadian authorities said.
Monson, 48, was the only fatality among five others in the helicopter that went down near Bute Inlet, roughly 62 miles northeast of the remote city of Campbell River, according to a news release Monday from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The helicopter crashed to the ground before overturning into the Homatico River, police said. Local news outlets reported that the crash occurred about 4:30 p.m.
Monson became trapped in the wreckage and wasn’t able to escape. An underwater recovery team was expected to remove his body sometime Monday afternoon, the police news release said.
Authorities received the report of the accident about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and a search-and-rescue team found that five of the helicopter’s occupants, including the pilot, had escaped without life-threatening injuries. They were all taken to an area hospital, and four have been treated and released. One remains in a Victoria-area hospital undergoing further treatment, according to the release.
A preliminary investigation suggests that the helicopter crashed into the ground shortly after takeoff, and there is no indication of foul play, the release said.
The investigation has been turned over to the British Columbia coroner’s office, the release said.
According to a statement from the Monson family, Michael Monson was on a company fishing trip.
Monson oversaw his family’s Selah-based fruit company that grows and processes more than 3,000 acres of cherries and pears and 500 acres of apples each year. His family started the business in 1987, according to a statement issued by the family.
Born in Provo, Utah, he is survived by his wife, Julie Monson; two sons, Jack Monson and Marcus Monson; a daughter, Katelyn Monson; his mother, Charlotte Barmore of Tempe, Ariz.; three brothers, Eric Monson, Chris Monson and Matt Monson, all of Selah; and two sisters, Anna Wing and Kathy Monson, both of Tempe.