|1978 NEWS RELEASE FROM THE MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAY
PATROLMEN BACK IN THE AIR
(Meridian) Mississippi Highway Patrol Pilot/Patrolman Jimmy Woodfin and his observer, Patrolman Don Rawson are flying the MHP helicopter today following yesterday's crash landing in a rural Lauderdale County farm pasture. The two patrolmen were participating in the massive manhunt along the Mississippi-Alabama line for two Oklahoma escapees and murder suspects in the recent death of a Cuba, Alabama woman. Woodfin and Rawson escaped serious injury when the military surplus Bell helicopter they were in slammed into the ground in an open field and were able to walk out to a road and summons help. Minutes before, the aircraft was flying over dense forest land that would not have provided a landing place. According to investigators, the bubble cockpit filled with heavy smoke and seconds later the engine failed resulting in what was described as a "potentially deadly situation." It was determined late yesterday that the rotors were just moments away from separating from the chopper. Without hesitation, both men climbed aboard another helicopter this morning and lifted off as the manhunt continues.