Friends remember Gideon Carmichael

HASKELL, Texas (KFDX) - The city of Haskell and the entire Texas aviation community are trying to come to grips with yesterday's tragic helicopter crash that claimed the life of 25-year-old man.

Almost any day, you can catch Justin Hill looking out at his cotton field thinking about his next hunt with longtime friend Gideon Carmichael, but those happy thoughts are replaced by sadness.

Hill said, "He just was always one of those guys that helped you. Whether it was us hunting or sitting around having fun." 

Gideon was the sole person on his Robinson R-22 Beta helicopter. He was herding cattle when witnesses say the tail of his copter hit a power line before it crashed, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hill added, "We were just talking about an upcoming hunt and shooting the breeze." Hill spoke to Gideon just two hours before the crash.

Gideon was loved by many. Coach John Foster taught him Biology, Anatomy, and Physiology in high school.

Coach Foster told us, "He is the son that every parent wishes they had. It's hard to say, he is the most polite, hard-working, talented, creative, lived life with a gusto."

Longtime friend, Eric Lewis said, "He always lit up a room, he was always laughing, he was always smiling, we always got along really well just because we're both pretty outward and laugh a lot and want to enjoy life." he said Gideon was a friend, he considered a brother.

Lewis continued to tell us, "It could be anything and he'd be the first one there. He's the kind of guy that you'd be sitting around and he'd just show up in the driveway and just wanna sit down and hang out and wouldn't even talk and it was really special for us to have been a part of his life." 

Coach Foster said, "Gideon, when everything was going on in Houston, he was one of those guys, the first one to hop in the helicopter and start flying stuff in and out, getting it to people where they couldn't get."

"He was a great guy, he was a great kid and for somebody so young and unexpected, it's tough," Hill continued to say.

Gideon wanted to fly, and he did just that, just about anywhere.

Lewis said, "There's been time where there's been scares and it's like, oh it's not him, there's no way it's him and it's not and when I texted him "Hey bud, you doing good?" and it didn't say delivered below it on my phone, the panic kind of set in." 

Lewis finished with this emotional statement: "Thanks for always being there and I was proud to have known, and I wish there was more time but there's not and thanks for being an awesome friend. It's been a great ride and I'll never forget anything and I can't wait until the next ride starts."

One memory many had of Gideon was him landing his helicopter on the football field on Friday night, just like he did on October 20 when Haskell beat Quanah 21-14.

He would do this occasionally, deliver the game ball in style. Friends told me they will truly miss those nights. Those who knew him well say he was definitely a hometown hero.

The Carmichael family would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation for all of the thoughts and prayers during this time.

To honor Gideon's life, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: 

C/o Haskell CISD
P. o. box 937
Haskell, TX 79521

To encourage and inspire kids to dream big, and donations can also be made at Wishes for Warriors, where Gideon gave much of his time and his heart.

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