Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

Local Resident Kim Watzman, 45, Dies in Chopper Crash

manager of the Standard Hotel in Hollywood remembered as a world traveler, a dog rescuer

 

February 1, 2018

Friend of Kim Watzman waits for news after the Newport Beach crash

Kimberly Lynne Watzman, 45, of Santa Monica died in a Newport Beach helicopter crash on Tuesday, said the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Sheriff's said the other 2 who died were 56-year-old Brian R. Reichelt of Hollywood, Florida, and Joseph Anthony Tena, 60, of Newport Beach.

Watzman, the manager of the Standard Hotel in Hollywood, was remembered as a world traveler, a dog rescuer, and a person with a zest for life. "She was working very hard at Resort management," said a friend. She was part owner of the Santa Monica triplex where she lived.

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Kim Watzman, 45, manager of the Standard Hotel in Hollywood, was remembered as a world traveler, a dog rescuer, and a person with a zest for life

The helicopter crashed Tuesday 1:45 p.m. into three homes, including the yard and wall of a home. A piece of the tail rotor was seen lodged in the tiled roof of a home across the street.

Newport Beach police said there were four people on the Robinson R44 light helicopter and one on the ground who was also apparently struck by some debris from the crash.

Those killed were the pilot and two passengers, and a third passenger survived, according to the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration who spoke at a morning press conference. The fifth victim, described as a house painter, was treated and released with minor injuries.

A woman was home at the time, but was in the kitchen and did not suffer any injuries.

The helicopter is based out of John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, which is only about a mile from the crash site, and was headed for Catalina Island. Watzman and Tena were on the way to a Standard Hotel retreat on Catalina.

 

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