President of Monson Fruit dies in helicopter crash

President of Monson Fruit dies in helicopter crash
SELAH, Wash. -- The president of a Selah fruit company, 48 year old Michael Monson of Monson Fruit, died Saturday in a helicopter crash. He was on a work fishing trip in British Columbia.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police said five others survived the crash that occurred shortly after the helicopter took off near Bute Inlet, about 62 miles northeast of Campbell River.

Monson was trapped in the wreckage and unable to escape. The police news release said an underwater recovery team was expected to remove his body sometime Monday afternoon.

The investigation has been turned over to the British Columbia coroner’s office, the release said. No foul play is suspected.

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 the news release, details of those on board:

Pilot: 68 year old man, Gold River, BC
Passenger: 37 year old man, US Citizen
Passenger: 71 year old man, US Citizen
Passenger: 63 year old woman, US Citizen
Passenger: 44 year old man, Gold River, BC
Passenger/Deceased: 48 year old man (Michael Monson), US Citizen