Huntington Beach Grounds Police Helicopters After Saturday Crash That Killed One Officer And Injured Another
Investigators are looking into the cause of a police helicopter crash near Newport Beach that killed a Huntington Beach officer and left another injured on Saturday night.
Officers responded to a call of a fight in progress around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday when their helicopter plunged into Newport Bay. Officer Nicholas Vella, a 14-year veteran, died from injuries. On Sunday, the surviving 16-year veteran officer was not identified and released from the hospital.
Officer Vella served our community with honor & dignity. The display of love & appreciation we have seen over the last 24 hours has been overwhelming but fitting for someone as great as Nick. We continue to thank everyone for their kindness as we mourn the loss of our brother. pic.twitter.com/tDtTmL5tpy— Huntington Beach PD (@HBPoliceDept) February 21, 2022
Huntington Beach police spokesperson Jennifer Carey said the department's two other helicopters will be examined for mechanical or safety issues.
"We have no reason to believe that there is any sort of issues with our other two helicopters, but just in an abundance of caution, we are choosing to ground the helicopters."
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.