Huntington Beach, California – One Huntington Beach Police Department officer was killed and another one seriously injured after their helicopter crashed into the ocean at Newport Beach on Saturday afternoon.
According to Huntington Beach police chief Eric Parra, the two officers were sent to a report of a disturbance fight in Newport Beach when the helicopter crashed at 6:34 p.m.
“The city of Huntington Beach, the residents of Huntington Beach, the Huntington Beach Police Department and the law enforcement community have lost an officer that was truly dedicated to his job. This is a tragedy that we are investigating,” Parra said.
Both officers were taken for treatment at local trauma centers.
Nicholas Vella, 44, died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash. He had served with the Huntington Beach Police Department for fourteen years. The name of the other officer, who was said to be in critical condition, was not revealed, but authorities said he had served with the department for sixteen years.
According to the police report, the crash occurred near the shore off the Balboa Peninsula.
An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash is ongoing.