2 killed when helicopter crashes into Pompano Beach apartment
Air rescue captain, woman killed; 2 others on helicopter, 2 in building taken to hospital
Two people were killed and four others were injured when a Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue helicopter crashed into an apartment building Monday morning in Pompano Beach, Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
The helicopter was on its way to a traffic crash with injuries in North Lauderdale when it crashed at about 8:45 a.m. near North Dixie Highway and Atlantic Boulevard, southwest of Pompano Beach Airpark.
A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration said three people were onboard the helicopter at the time.
Air rescue Capt. Terryson Jackson, 50, was killed in the crash, Tony said, fighting back tears. Jackson had been with the department for 19 years.
"Forgive me because I knew Terryson personally for over 14 years," Tony said.
Air rescue pilot Daron Roche, 37, and paramedic Mike Chaguaceda, 31, were also on the helicopter at the time of the crash, Tony said. They were taken to Broward Health North to be treated for their injuries.
"We're going to suffer," Tony said. "We're going to hurt, but this community should know that we're prepared to answer the next call."
A woman who lived in the building was also killed. Her identity hasn't been released.
Two other civilians were also taken to the hospital after the crash. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Cellphone footage from a witness showed smoke and flames coming from the helicopter before it spun around and fell from the sky.
The helicopter crashed into a one-story apartment building, which had smoke pouring out and a massive hole in the roof.
"I thought it was a scene out of a movie," Victoria Walczak, whose home was destroyed in the crash, told WPTV. "It was that bad. And the smoke was so bad, we had to go."
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.
"At least I'm in one piece, thank God, and we're praying for the survivors," Walczak said.
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