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News Story
Updated: 08/14/2014 08:00:02AM

Report: Drunken man wrecks historic chopper

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Durham

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER
Ronald Durham, 49, of Punta Gorda, has been charged with DUI with property damage — among other charges — after his involvement in a crash Tuesday that damaged a rare Vietnam-era helicopter being kept in an auto repair yard east of Punta Gorda.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

The UH-1B Huey helicopter on the left was used by the U.S. Navy's "Seawolves" during the Vietnam War. Owner Bill Gard, a 67-year-old Vietnam War veteran, has been trying to restore the rare antique using parts from another similar helicopter, which was badly damaged in a crash Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO

By ADAM KREGER

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EAST OF PUNTA GORDA — Almost every day for the last five years, 67-year-old Vietnam War veteran Bill Gard has worked hard to personally restore a piece of history — one of fewer than eight UH-1B Huey Seawolf Vietnam-era helicopters known to be in existence.

But now Gard will have to start over on his special project.

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