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Man hit by TV news helicopter doesn’t remember deadly crash

The man badly burned when a TV news helicopter crashed into his car is slowly recovering and his partner says the man doesn’t remember the accident.

Richard Newman has been hospitalized with second and third-degree burns since the March 18 accident, when the KOMO TV helicopter plunged onto Broad Street moments after taking off from Fisher Plaza at the base of the Space Needle.

“We’re thankful that he doesn’t remember. Maybe it will come back over time,” Daniel Jung said Tuesday at Harborview Medical Center.

Newman underwent a second surgery Monday where doctors added skin grafts to his torso and arms. He continues to recover slowly, but will remain hospitalized for an indeterminate amount of time.

“The wound on his face is really going to dictate when he gets out,” said Dr. Nicole Gibran.

Jung also met Tuesday with the Fisher Plaza security guard who helped Newman after he dragged himself out of the burning car with his clothing on fire. He said Newman is grateful and both realize how lucky he is to be alive.

“I think we both realize we don’t do enough. We could be doing so much more for people just by seeing the outpouring of support that we received. I think helped us realize that we need to do more,” he said. “I almost lost somebody, the love of my life, the one person I am married to. So I feel blessed.”

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are scheduled to return Wednesday to the hangar in Auburn where the wreckage from the helicopter is being kept and examined.

Veteran photographer Bill Strothman and pilot Gary Fitzner died in the crash.

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