One death as helicopter crashes near William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

The impact of the crash caused a fire within the Bristol Commons residential complex.

The crash is under investigation, but state police released a statement saying "federal, state and local police, with the assistance of the Williamsburg Fire Department, are working to locate and identify the pilot of the helicopter".

Danylko's family said through Virginia State Police that the 91-year-old served as secretary to the president of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) for many years.

The aircraft was an R44 helicopter, according to the FAA, which tweeted updates about the crash over the weekend.

The station quoted a witness as saying he heard a "big explosion", while others reported a helicopter flying low before the incident.

"Just want to say thanks to all of the emergency personnel who came out and kept everybody safe and also just praying for those who lost everything in the fire", said Chris Robertson.

Donald Johnson told the newspaper he was 10 feet away from the crash when it struck his apartment building.

The crash, which occurred near the campus of the College of William & Mary, caused a fire that destroyed the building and took several hours to get under control, the Virginia Daily-Pilot reported. "I was downstairs on the first floor when that thing hit and I had never heard a noise like that in my life".

The National Transportation Safety Board plans a news conference Monday afternoon.

  • Joey Payne