By Staff

LIVINGSTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Federal investigators said a helicopter rotated out of control before crashing in East Texas, killing a passenger and injuring the pilot and two other passengers last month.

The Bell 206B helicopter crashed on Dec 30 onto a woodpile in a field in Livingston, about 70 miles northwest of Houston.

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Daniel King, 54, of Livingston, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Braydon King, 26, and Brocton King, 23, both of Livingston, were both taken to a Houston hospital, DPS said.

The pilot John Martin, 73, of Montgomery, also was taken to a Houston hospital, DPS said.

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In a Friday preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board reported that one of the passengers told investigators that the helicopter was hovering when the aircraft began rotating to the right.

After the second rotation, the helicopter’s rotor blades struck a tree and it crashed.

The cause of the loss of control remains under investigation.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Staff