VALLEJO, Calif. — A helicopter contracted to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. crashed after hitting a 230,000-volt transmission line Wednesday, killing three people aboard and temporarily knocking out power to thousands of customers, police said.
PG&E spokesman Ron Rutkowski said the helicopter "was doing routine power line patrol, checking the condition of equipment," when it hit the lines at about 11:40 a.m.
Two of the dead were employees of the Northern California utility, and the third was the pilot who worked for Commodore Helicopters, according to Solano County Coroner James O'Brien.
Commodore, owned by KGO radio broadcaster Lu Hurley, operates out of Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. It offers tours of the picturesque bay in a Bell Helicopter Textron JetRanger helicopter.