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Developer John Zacher dies after helicopter crashes into Ten Mile Lake

Cass County search crews began returning to a Lower Ten Mile Lake public access Friday morning after successfully recovering the body of a helicopter pilot. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

A well-known regional developer and businessman has been identified as the victim of a helicopter crash in Ten Mile Lake. Pilot John Zacher 56, of Hackensack, died when his craft went down about 7 p.m. Thursday on the east side of the lake in Cass County.

His wife, Vicki, 55, managed to swim to shore and was briefly hospitalized for hypothermia.

The FAA will be investigating the incident.

John Zacher's body was discovered near the submerged wreckage 150 feet from shore in 30 feet of water, the Cass County Sheriff's Department said. The discovery was made about 10:30 Friday morning.

According to Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch, a 911 distress call came in at 7 p.m. Thursday from Vicki Zacher.

A virtual platoon of emergency crews descended on the scene, including Cass County Sheriff's Office deputies, State Patrol, Walker police, DNR Conservation Officers, Leech Lake Tribal officers, Leech Lake Conservation Officers, Hackensack Fire and Rescue, Hackensack First Responders and North Ambulance personnel.

A couple whose didn't identify themselves said they heard what they initially thought was a loud car Thursday night, then realized it was a low-flying aircraft going over.

John Zacher has been involved in numerous development and business deals in the Bemidji and Walker-Hackensack areas.