2 from Delray Beach killed when helicopter goes down in wildlife area

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office)

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – Two residents of Delray Beach were identified Saturday after a search for the helicopter they were in crashed Friday afternoon.

Richard Preiser, 71, and Thomas Stout, 65, died in the crash. The aircraft and their bodies were discovered Friday at 9 p.m.

According to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the helicopter was last seen on radar at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The wreckage was secured overnight, according to investigators, but was discovered among the 60,300 acre J.W. Corbett Management Area that could only be accessed by specialized vehicles.

The sheriff’s office reported that their detectives, the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Hazmat team, crime scene investigators, and medical examiners were working to safely recover the deceased Saturday morning.


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Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.