A California police officer was killed and another critically
injured after a law enforcement helicopter crash-landed into the
water in Orange County on Saturday night.
The helicopter slammed into the water just after 6:30 p.m. in
Newport Beach, about 40 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, in
front of scores of people sitting on the beach, according to
Nicholas Vella, a 44-year-old, 14-year veteran of the Huntington
Beach Police Department, died as a result of injuries he
sustained in the crash, Police Chief Eric Parra said at a press
conference Saturday night.
Vella and his partner were both rescued from the water and
transported to a local trauma center after the crash.
The other officer, a 16-year-veteran, is in critical condition
at the trauma center, officials said.
It wasn’t clear what caused the crash. The aircraft was still in
the water by 8 p.m. local time.
Officials confirmed that the helicopter belonged to the
neighboring Huntington Beach Police Department.
“We can confirm that our police helicopter, HB1, crash landed in
the Newport Beach area. Rescue efforts are underway & more
information will be released when available,” the department
wrote on Twitter.
Earlier on Friday, another helicopter crashed into the ocean
right off Miami Beach in Florida in front of hundreds of
beachgoers. No casualties were reported in that crash.