Husband: Cape helicopter crash victim suffered broken bones, neck

ACUSHNET, Mass. (WPRI) — A local photographer who was seriously injured in a helicopter crash on Cape Cod last week is recovering in the hospital.

Tyra Pacheco is an Acushnet, Massachusetts native, a professional photographer and a mother of three.

Eyewitness News Reporter Julianne Peixoto spoke with her husband, John Pacheco, on Monday in Boston about the tragic accident.

According to John, she was doing what she loved the day of the crash.

“She’s a very talented photographer and she loves aerial photography and she routinely flies in a helicopter with her pilot John Ryan,” he explained.

But something went wrong Friday while Tyra was photographing waterfront properties in Chatham. John said the chopper fell from the sky.

“It’s surreal, to be honest,” he said. “And it really hasn’t sunk in. At this point, we’re just kind of running on adrenaline.”

Tyra’s pilot was hurt in the crash – but she suffered more serious injuries, according to her husband.

“Broken femur, broken tibia, broken ankle, wrist,” he said. “One of her fingers was severed. She has a broken neck, she has spinal injuries.”

John said his wife is stable but remains in critical condition at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. So far, she has undergone surgery to mend her broken bones and is awaiting another procedure on her spine and neck.

“Naturally I’m hoping that she makes a full recovery. I mean that’s the best possible scenario,” he said.

“I’m hoping that a year from now – six months, I don’t know – she’ll be back to her old self and be able to walk and do the things that she used to do and loves to do.”

The crash is still under investigation, but John said he has an idea of what caused the crash.

“It’s my understanding that it was drive train failure on the helicopter,” he said. “And as a result, it just essentially went down quickly.”

According to John, first responders said the crash could have been worse – because they were just a few feet away from crashing directly into a pond, where they likely would have drowned.

“The pilot did a great job in trying to land in the best possible spot, and as a result probably saved their lives,” he said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Tyra Pacheco. Click here to donate.

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