One officer has died and another is in critical condition after a Huntington Beach police helicopter crashed into Newport Beach on Saturday afternoon, the Huntington Beach Police Department said.
Huntington Beach Police Chief Eric Barra told a news conference Saturday that the two officers were responding to a disturbing fight call at Newport Beach when it collided with water.
The dead officer has been identified as Nicholas Vella, 44, of the Huntington Beach Police Department.
The city’s public information officer said Vella was the second officer in police history to die on duty.
An officer with the Huntington Coast Guard last died on duty in 1974.
The accident appears to have taken place not far from the shores of the Balboa Peninsula.
Authorities said both residents were taken to local shock centers.
One person was taken to the UCI Trauma Center and the second person was taken to the OC Global Trauma Center.
The initial call for the incident came near 42 Balboa Blvd at 6:34 pm. On Newport Beach.
Barra said the National Traffic Safety Board and the Orange County Sheriff’s Large Accident Investigation Team are investigating the incident.
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