first_imgSEATTLE — A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crashed a few hundred yards off the coast of Washington state on Wednesday, killing three of four crew members on board.Rear Adm. Gary Blore, commander of the 13th Coast Guard district, said the cause of the crash is not known but that there were downed power lines on the beach near the helicopter’s wreckage.Witnesses told local media that the helicopter was flying at a low altitude when it approached La Push, Wash., a small outpost on the Quileute Nation reservation. It is about 100 miles west of Seattle, on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.Blore said it’s not unusual for Coast Guard helicopters to fly low. He said the power lines had been about 250 feet above the water level and that those lines are marked in navigational charts.Quileute tribal member Rio Jaime told the Peninsula Daily News that he saw the helicopter clip the power lines with its tail, sending it down to the water.last_img read more