By Renée Santos

COLUSA (CBS13) – Walt Seaver was in a state of shock hoping the owner of a helicopter that crashed in his Colusa County tomato field wasn’t on board.

“If it’s the individual I think it is, he was a couple of years behind me in school—nice man, very nice man,” he said. “I’m in shock, basically, it’s a small community. I consider their family a pillar of the community yeah in shock.”

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Seaver says he was working on his ranch just across the road from where the helicopter went down. The crash happened at around 1:15 p.m. near Highway 45 at Reservation Road north of Colusa.

“Kind of mind-boggling, didn’t hear anything, didn’t see anything,” Seaver said. “From what I understand, once it went down, I couldn’t render aid to anybody anyway.”

The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office said four people on board died. They have not yet been officially identified.

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Right now, it’s not known what caused the deadly crash.

“I think heat density altitude is a big issue for all aircraft I think that’s why this has been a very, very deadly summer for general aviation,” Steven Thompson said.

Thompson is an aviation expert as well as the president and CEO of Executive Flyers Inc.

As the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration begin their investigations, Seaver waits to learn from the sheriff’s office the identifies of the people who died, holding onto hope.

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“And not quite giving up yet,” he said.