Man hurt in Seattle helicopter crash is breathing on his own


— The 38-year-old man who was injured on the ground when a news helicopter crashed Tuesday in Seattle is continuing to improve.

Harborview Medical Center said Richard Newman of Seattle was taken off a machine and is breathing on his own.

Spokeswoman Susan Gregg says he remains in serious condition Wednesday in the intensive care unit and will need surgery for burns, though none are planned for today.

Newman suffered second- and third-degree burns on his back and arms when his car was set afire by the helicopter crashing into the street near the Seattle Center. Two other drivers whose vehicles burned escaped uninjured.

He also has cuts on his head and a broken rib.

Newman, 38, grew up in Bellingham and graduated from Sehome High School in 1994, according to a Bellingham School District spokeswoman. Newman’s parents still live in Bellingham and rushed to Seattle Tuesday to be at his side.

Well-wishers can mail cards to Harborview at 325 Ninth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104-2499, or send a note to Newman at

Newman works primarily as a clinical trials project manager at Genelex in Seattle, and also works as a disease intervention specialist with the King County Public Health Department.

The pilot, Gary Pfitzner of Issaquah, and news photographer Bill Strothman, were aboard the helicopter working for KOMO-TV and died in the crash.

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