- Associated Press - Thursday, August 6, 2015

ATKINSON, Ill. (AP) - A helicopter pilot was taken to a Peoria hospital in critical condition after his aircraft crashed into a soybean field in western Illinois.

Atkinson Fire Department Chief Bob Floming says the helicopter’s tail rotor hit a power line and spun out. Floming says the owner of the farm was mowing when he saw the crash at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday near Atkinson. Farm owner Robert Broadbent says the pilot was trying to crawl out of the wreckage so he “grabbed his good arm and pulled him out.” Broadbent says he told the victim to “just hang on.”

Illinois State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating. The pilot’s condition wasn’t immediately available.

Atkinson is about 30 miles east of Moline in Henry County.

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