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One Dead As Small Helicopter Crashes Near Route 1 In West Windsor

Fire trucks near the scene of the crash in West Windsor (Credit: Gary Baumgarten/1010 WINS)

Fire trucks near the scene of the crash in West Windsor (Credit: Gary Baumgarten/1010 WINS)

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WEST WINDSOR, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A helicopter crash in central New Jersey has left one dead, West Windsor Police have confirmed. The fatal victim was the only person on board.

The crash occurred shortly after noon on Saturday in West Windsor.

Several witnesses reported hearing grinding noises and possible explosions shortly before the crash occurred near Route 1 and Quakerbridge Road in the Mercer County community. Authorities said the helicopter burst into flames upon impact, but no one on the ground was injured.

Witnesses added that they saw a large flock of birds and the helicopter near each other, and noticed that the helicopter was missing rotors and was coming down. It’s unknown at this time if the birds had anything to do with the crash.

1010 WINS Reporter Gary Baumgarten Reports…

The helicopter came down in a cornfield and authorities told 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten that if it had crashed anywhere else the results could have been disastrous.

“We were very thankful that this did not happen over a populated area where it would have been a thousand times worse,” said Lt Robert Garafolo of the West Windsor Police Department.

WCBS 880 Reporter Jim Smith Reports…

Vehicle traffic in the area did not appear to be affected by the accident, but West Windsor police were asking drivers to stay away from the area.

Stay with CBSNewYork.com as more on this story develops…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)