A Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire-Rescue helicopter crashed in Pompano Beach Monday morning, killing a veteran fire captain and a resident of an apartment building hit by the flaming aircraft, firefighters say.
The chopper went down on U.S. 1 about 8:45 a.m. near Atlantic Boulevard, the sheriff’s office said. Pompano Beach Fire Rescue paramedics took four people to the hospital, that agency’s spokeswoman Sandra King said.
The helicopter was seen with smoke coming out of its tail section before it crashed into an apartment building near Pompano Airpark, where it’s based, King said.
The crash killed Capt. Terryson Jackson, 50, a 19 year veteran of BSO Fire-Rescue, the department said. A woman who lived in the building was also killed in the crash, BSO said. She has not been named.
“As a flight paramedic, he impacted the community daily, providing critical patients with the highest pre-hospital care. He consistently showed an unmatched passion for the job,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement. “He always provided expert care, compassion and reassurance to those during their most significant time of need.Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jackson family during this difficult time. His BSO family will forever carry on his legacy.”
The two people taken to the hospital were two people from the helicopter and on the ground, King said. They were taken to Broward Health North, and their injuries are not life-threatening, according to BSO.
The other BSO crew members on the helicopter were pilot Daron Roche, 37, who has served in the department for four years, and paramedic Mikael Chaguaceda, 31, a five-year fire-rescue worker.
Sarah Taylor Sulick, a spokeswoman for the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency investigating the crash, said the helicopter was an Airbus EC 135T-1.
A resident of the eight-unit apartment building told CBS News Miami that she heard a loud crash and shortly afterward was ordered to leave the building.
A man who works near the crash site said he heard it and rushed to help, according to the Miami Herald news partner.
“The top of the roof was all fire. A big ball of fire,” said Ruben Chavez. “And then, a second explosion. I ran over there but the police, the first two cops who got there pushed us back and that’s when the second explosion happened. We felt the heat and that’s when we said we gotta go.”