HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It was the worst day ever on the job for Jay Boykin one month ago today. That's the day a helicopter went down in Desoto National Forest, killing two of his colleagues and critically injuring a third.
Boykin is the district fire management officer. He was the only member of the ground crew who heard the chopper go down.
"I heard the sound of metal hitting trees," said Boykin.
The man critically injured in the crash somehow managed to walk some 600 feet to a road, despite suffering severe burns and broken bones.
"He had some help getting out of those woods," said Boykin, who was referring to help other than physical assistance.
Boykin said his burn crew was heroic in responding to the crash, even though it was quickly evident the accident site was a recovery and not a rescue.
As for getting back in the woods on another burn today, Boykin says "that's our job." He admits it was difficult, but also says returning to a burn is "part of the healing process."