The Tragedy at Backwoods

I attended Backwoods Festival and was part of the crowd when the tragedy occurred.  I want to confront the horrific tragedy that happened on Sunday night ( ). My heart is utterly broken for everyone who experienced loss on that fateful night. The helicopter crash on the Mountain took the lives of three members of our music community, as well as severely injuring another. Pilot Chuck Dickson, Sarah Hill, and Marco Orneals were enjoying their weekend just like the rest of us when their lives were taken in an instant. Tragedies rarely make sense, and this is one that has particularly stayed on my mind and left me wondering why? Why did this have to happen to them? These beautiful souls did not deserve to be stripped of the wondrous gift that is life, and nothing leaves me more sad and confused than trying to figure this out. With that being said, I am including links to the victims’ GoFundMe’s for anyone that feels the desire to donate. As a music community, I do truly believe that we are a family, and families step up to the plate to help each other when it is needed. Chuck Dickinson ( )

Sarah Hill ( )

Marco Orneals ( )

In spite of this unimaginable tragedy, there is one sliver of hope. The fourth victim in the helicopter, Zacharia Petersen, is currently in the hospital and slowly but surely getting closer to recovery every day. His sister, Seraea Gail Crandall, has been posting in Backwoods Facebook groups with updates on his recovery as they happen.

Posted by Jamie Seed in the Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain Facebook group:
“Backwoods Family! If you want to show your love and support to the sole survivor of the helicopter crash Zachariah Petersen, his sister Seraea has volunteered to receive the mail at her house and deliver our letters and packages to him in the hospital.

Write to him at:
Zacharia Petersen c/o Seraea Gail Crandall
735 N. K
Fremont NE 68025

Suggestions from Seraea Gail Crandall:
Books: he likes the books in the Left Behind series and likes the books A Series of Unfortunate Events (consider sending books in that style that you enjoy as well – he will be laid up for a while)
Adult coloring books as he likes to color along with colored pencils or markers
A journal to write in
Get well cards or letters
Pictures if your kids want (he loves hand drawn stuff)
He loves football and racing

Let’s surround Zach with love and positive energy as he heals his heart and body from this traumatic experience.”

Zach also has an active GoFundMe ( ) and has a very long and difficult road ahead of him. Most recently, Seraea informed us that Zach is awake and alert, and his tubes are removed. Now, more than ever, our community needs to show our love and support! Please think of these people and let their families, friends, and fellow Backwoods attendees that we all care for each other.

Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain Facebook

Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain Website


All Photos Shot by Joshua Andrews

Article Written by Taylor Morgan

One thought on “The Tragedy at Backwoods

  1. Thank you! This was such a beautiful article!

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