Helicopter belonging to Food City crashes after Friday’s Food City 250

UPDATE The body of the Food City pilot killed Friday in a helicopter crash in a lake near Bristol Motor Speedway was recovered Monday. Bill Starnes, who had been shuttling people to and from the Nationwide Series race at BMS where Food City was the race sponsor, crashed the helicopter into South Holston Lake in Abingdon, Va., on Friday night.

The Bristol Herald-Courier reported on its website that his body was recovered in about 80 feet of water and brought to the surface Monday at about 3 p.m. Eastern, according to the Virginia State Police. Starmes was the only person aboard the Bell 407 when it crashed, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

08/25/12 A helicopter belonging to grocery store chain Food City crashed into South Holston Lake in Virginia not long after Friday's Food City 250 Nationwide Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway in nearby Bristol, Tenn.

No NASCAR officials were on board. According to television station WJHL, only the pilot of the helicopter was involved in the wreck. Virginia State Police told the television station there is still an active "search and rescue" operation going on overnight.

No further information was expected until around noon on Saturday.

The helicopter was registered to K-VA-T and W-L Aviation LLC in Abingdon, Va. It was a Bell model 407 and was manufactured in 1996, according to tricities.com.

Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman confirmed that the aircraft went down just before 11 p.m. Rescue teams from his department as well as other agencies were involved in the search for survivors. Sporting News

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