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Grazier dies in chopper crash

A 39-year-old father died while mustering cattle after crashing his helicopter in thick bushland approximately 65 kilometres west of Rolleston.
A 39-year-old father died while mustering cattle after crashing his helicopter in thick bushland approximately 65 kilometres west of Rolleston.

THE small town of Rolleston has been rocked by the death of grazier Russell Parker in a helicopter crash on a private property near Mt Ogg yesterday.

Members of the close-knit community have confirmed their shock at the tragedy.

The 39-year-old father of four young daughters, whose family has a long association with the area, was mustering cattle about 32 km west of Rolleston.

His family lost contact with him about 10am yesterday.

They began a search on horse back.

Matthew Brandon from the RACQ Rescue Helicopter yesterday said they and another aircraft carrying a police officer found the wreckage about 65km west of Rolleston.

An intensive care paramedic was winched down to a nearby creek bed and the pilot was declared dead at the scene.

A police media spokeswoman said the pilot was the sole occupant of the helicopter.

Police returned to the scene at first light this morning.

A worker at the Rolleston Hotel said the pilot was a “very well-respected” community member, who had been involved in almost 8anything to help the small town.

“He was very community-minded. Everyone knew him, he grew up in the area and was very well-respected,” she said.

“It’s shocked the whole community.”


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