A meteorologist and a pilot were killed after a news helicopter crashed in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tuesday afternoon, according to authorities.
The Robinson R44 helicopter crashed near Interstate 77 and Nations Ford Road around 12:20 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The helicopter belonged to local news station CBS WBTV, according to a statement posted by the station on Tuesday.
“The WBTV family is grieving a terrible loss,” the statement read. “Meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag lost their lives. We are working to comfort their families at this difficult time.»
Both Myers and Tayag, the only Two people on board the plane were confirmed dead by the Mecklenburg EMS Agency.
WBTV says Myers grew up in North Carolina and worked in Texas and Virginia before moving back to the Charlotte area. He leaves behind a wife and four children.
Tayag, who had been a pilot for more than 20 years, joined WBTV in 2017.
No vehicles on the road were involved in the accident, according to police.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Johnny Jennings said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the helicopter pilot was a hero for avoiding oncoming cars while landing.
«It appeared that the pilot who was operating the aircraft made some diversionary movements to avoid hitting traffic,» Jennings said. «And if that’s really the case, then that driver is a hero for, in my opinion, making sure that the safety of those who were driving on the road was not jeopardized.»
«All of southbound I-77 is currently closed near the Nations Ford exit and will be closed for an extended period,» police later announced on Twitter. adding that ramps are closed from I-85 north and south to I-77 south. Police are working to open two lanes of traffic on I-77 as soon as possible.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board They are investigating what caused the accident.
jay blackman contributed.