TV reporter, pilot die in US chopper crash


A helicopter pilot and meteorologist who worked for a North Carolina television station died when a news helicopter crashed along a freeway in the Charlotte area.

Meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag were identified as those killed Tuesday in the crash in a WBTV statement.

The crash stalled traffic along Interstate 77 in the Charlotte area after its southbound lanes were closed by investigators, but no ground vehicles were involved.

Two people were on board the Robinson R44 helicopter, which crashed shortly after noon, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration. Mecklenburg County EMS said both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

The station paid tribute to Myers and Tayag both in a written statement and on air. WBTV broadcasters who reported on the accident identified their colleagues by cracked voices on air about three hours after the fatal accident.

“We are working to comfort their families during this difficult time. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our staff and your continued prayers for their families,” the station said in a statement.

Police said no ground vehicles were involved in the crash. Preliminary testimony indicates the pilot performed ‘diversionary’ maneuvers and ‘tried to avoid hurting anyone else’ and ‘probably saved lives’, department head Johnny Jennings told reporters. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

“And if that’s really the case, then this driver is a hero in my eyes for making sure the safety and security of whoever was driving was not at risk,” Jennings said.

The chef added: “We are planning to enter the holiday season where we are supposed to spend time with our loved ones. And tragically there are two people involved in this accident who will not be returning home and will not pass holidays with his family.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident with the FAA.

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