The two officers responded to a disturbing call when a Huntington Beach Police helicopter “HB1” crashed into water in Newport Beach, Chief Eric Barra told a news conference.
Officer Nicholas Vella, 44, died of his injuries in the crash, the police chief said.
“Our deepest condolences to Officer Vella’s family,” said Huntington Beach Mayor Barbara Tellies. “This tragic accident is a reminder of the dangers and dangers that our police officers engage in on a daily basis to protect our community.”
Authorities are not sure why the helicopter crashed and an investigation is underway while the police department inspects its other aircraft, Barra said.
Huntington Beach Police said “and the law enforcement community has lost an officer who was truly dedicated to his job and did what he wanted, which is a tragedy we are investigating.”
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, the FAA said in a statement.
Huntington Beach and Newport Beach are coastal communities in Orange County, California.
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