Four minutes ahead of the right place, right time

seattle chopperc crash
Seattle Police Department

Ellen Ebert of Gig Harbor had a meeting at Seattle Center on Tuesday morning and took a shortcut through Fisher Plaza.

She thought about stopping for a cup of coffee, but then kept walking toward Broad Street.

The satellite dishes attached to the building that house the KOMO television station caught her eye.

“I never noticed that before,” she thought to herself.

She kept walking.

Up on the roof of the building a helicopter was preparing to take off.

About four minutes later, at 7:40 a.m., she heard a boom and looked out the window to see smoke billowing from where a helicopter leased by KOMO had crashed and exploded, killing two.

Ebert, whose daughter Katerina Kailey is digital sales manager at the Kitsap Sun, at first did not know it was a helicopter crash. She thought it must have been an accident at a construction site nearby.

It wasn’t until she received a call from Kailey that she heard the news. Others arrived shaken, having witnessed the aircraft explode. Her thoughts went to those who had been hurt, and those she later learned had been killed.

And also that by chance she missed being rained down on by a crashing helicopter.

The meeting went forward, but everybody was subdued.

“It was one of those things,” Ebert said.

They say that in life, success is a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

“Or four minutes ahead of it,” Ebert said.


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