CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Charlotte news station, WBTV, has confirmed to the public that the two people killed in a helicopter crash on southbound Interstate-77 Tuesday afternoon were meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag.
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“The WBTV family is grieving a terrible loss. Our news helicopter Sky3 crashed mid-day Tuesday with two of our colleagues on board. Meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag lost their lives. We are working to comfort their families in this difficult time. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our staff and your continued prayers for their families,” WBTV said.
“This is a terrible tragedy for the WBTV family and we are praying for them and all of those in the media who work so hard to keep the public informed,” NC Gov. Roy Cooper said.
“Our friends at WBTV are in our thoughts and prayers. I know Chip and Jason were valued team members and we mourn with you during this tragedy. What an unimaginable loss during what’s typically a season of togetherness. We’re here to support the WBTV team and their families,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said.
CMPD said the crash occurred on the side of the highway and did not involve any vehicles.
“[It] seems the pilot made some diversionary moves to avoid hitting traffic,” CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said. “Looks like a heroic incident where the pilot tried to avoid injuring anyone else and putting anyone else in danger. That pilot is a hero in my eyes…to the safety and security of everyone on the road.”
Statement released to Queen City News from the FAA:
A Robinson R44 helicopter crashed near I-77 South and Nations Ford Road in Charlotte, N.C., around 12:20 p.m. local time today. Two people were on board.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates. Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.The FAA
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, Charlotte Fire, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol were assisting with securing the scene Tuesday and were awaiting the arrival of the FAA and NTSB.
“Pray for the families. It’s going to be a difficult holiday season,” CMPD Chief Jennings said.
Roadway Reopens: Nearly 24 hours after the deadly incident, all three lanes of I-77 were reopened Wednesday morning, NCDOT said.
Watch Tuesday’s news conference held by CMPD below:
This is a developing story. Check back for additional updates.