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Memorial fund created for families of DFG biologists killed in helicopter crash

January 8, 2010 |  1:43 pm

DFG logo The California Assn. of Professional Scientists has created a memorial fund for the families of the three Department of Fish and Game biologists and the pilot killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday.

DFG Director John McCamman has also brought in critical incident counseling teams to help staff members deal with the loss of their co-workers.

"Fish and Game employees are very much like a big family and this is a tremendous loss to our team," McCamman said in a news release. "We will continue to do everything we can to help the victims' families and our employees during this difficult time."

Interested donors can contribute to the fund by mailing checks to:

State Biologists Memorial Fund, c/o CAPS, 455 Capitol Mall, Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814.

The Fish and Game Department identified the employees killed as associate biologist Clu Cotter, 48; senior biologist Kevin O'Connor, 40; and scientific aide Tom Stolberg, 31. All were Fresno residents.

The pilot was identified by the agency as Dennis "Mike" Donovan, contracted from Landells Aviation.

The biologists were on a routine aerial deer survey when the crash occurred in a remote section of Madera County. DFG has grounded all helicopter surveys until further notice.

-- Kelly Burgess

Department of Fish and Game logo courtesy of DFG