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Jenny Albano
Jenny Albano
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TV News Helicopter Collision Kills All 4 On Board

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On July 28, two TV news helicopters crashed into each other while trying to follow a police chase in Phoenix, Arizona. The helicopters collided over Steele Indian School Park around 12:40 P.M. and crashed into the lawn in front of a boarded-up church. The choppers were engulfed in flames and all four people in the two helicopters died.

Killed on board the KTVK chopper were pilot Scott Bowerbank and photographer Jim Cox. Reporter Craig Smith and photographer Rick Krolak were aboard the KNXV aircraft, the stations reported.

Television viewers did not see the crash because the cameras were pointed at the ground, but viewers did see footage from one of the cameras where the helicopter started to spin out of control. The station promptly switched to the studio so no one would witness the crash.

The crash occurred when the suspect being followed by police, identified as Christopher Jones, got out of the pickup truck he was driving and hijacked another vehicle.

Now police have stated that the man arrested in the police chase may be held accountable for the deaths in the helicopter crash. Jones was booked in jail on Friday night and is being held on two counts of vehicle theft, four counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, and one count of resisting arrest. His bail was set at $1 million.

Witnesses who saw the crash occur stated that they did not notice any problems with either helicopter before the collision. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had eight investigators arrive on scene late Friday night to start collecting evidence, and NTSB announced the preliminary report on the crash should be ready in five business days from the day of the accident.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Airlines, Cruises, Buses, and Other Mass Transit Accidents.