KOMO workers grieving after tragic chopper crash

KOMO workers grieving after tragic chopper crash

SEATTLE -- It wasn't as somber in the KOMO newsroom Wednesday as it was after Tuesday's deadly crash, but it was extremely quiet.

The sound of keyboard clicks and scanner traffic seemed to echo through the crowded room. The normal newsroom sounds of noise, laughter, and banter were gone.

A helicopter crash killed photographer Bill Strothman and pilot Gary Pfitzner. The deaths crushed co-workers who are finding comfort in the cards, calls, and flowers from the community.

"Today it's much more of a reflective newsroom as everyone realizes what we've lost," said KOMO News Director Holly Gaunt.

KOMO radio announcer Tom Hutyler said the growing memorial in the lobby harkens back to when anchor Kathi Goertzen passed away.

"It's neat that this family matters to the bigger family of Puget Sound," said Hutyler. He also noticed you can see on co-workers faces that this loss is tough to process.

"I think the shock has worn off and given way to realization that something terrible happened a couple yards away from us," he said.
 
KOMO TV General Manager Janene Drafs said, "Now we're looking at one another and saying how do we move forward, how do we move on, and that's what the words of encouragement and support are helping us do."