A corporate helicopter which belonged to Food City went down in South Holston Lake, Washington County, VA, around 11:00pm according to various local news reports.
The tail number N407N has been confirmed to be registered to K-VA-T &W-L Aviation LLC in Abingdon, Va., where Food City has their corporate offices. The 1996 Bell407 which landed upside down in the lake, and was reported to have only the pilot on board, and he has not been found.
The helicopter was last seen leaving Bristol Motor Speedway an hour after Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Race, which was sponsored by Food City and dubbed The Food City 250.
Washington County, Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman said that many members of the Food City family are gathered at the crash site, which gives further evidence that the helicopter that crashed could very well belong to the East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia supermarket chain.
Emergency crews at the time of this posting were unsure if there were any survivors, or how many people were on board the 7 passenger helicopter with an average cruise speed of 152mph. The Bell 407 is an all purpose helicopter, and is used mostly for corporate flight as well as an air ambulance, law enforcement, electronic news gathering and movie making.
Food City has sponsored the Nationwide race for the past 20 years, dating back to the days when the NNS was known as the Busch Series, one of NASCAR’s major touring series. Rescue efforts according to Sheriff Newman could last well into the morning, with support coming from the Virginia State Police, the Washington County Lifesaving Crew and the Green Springs Volunteer Fire Department.