By Amir Vera, Sharif Paget and Melissa Alonso, CNN
Two employees of WBTV, a CNN affiliate, were killed in a helicopter crash in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday, the station confirmed.
Meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag were identified as collaborators in the crash, the station said.
“The WBTV family is mourning a terrible loss. Our Sky3 news helicopter crashed mid-day on Tuesday with two of our colleagues on board,” WBTV said in a statement. “We are working to comfort their families during this difficult time. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our employees and your continued prayers for their families.”
Charlotte police were initially notified of the accident along Interstate 77 on the side of the road around noon.
No other vehicles were involved, Jennings said. The chief said he heard the helicopter’s pilot may have diverted the plane to avoid traffic.
“If that is really the case, then in my eyes that pilot is a hero for making sure that the safety and security of those who were on the road was not compromised,” he said.
Jennings told reporters traffic is expected to remain closed near the crash site and he doesn’t expect it to reopen anytime soon.
“I expect it to go through rush hour and possibly through the night,” the chief said.
Police have secured the crash site pending the arrival of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the crash, Jennings said.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper tweeted a statementwho said, “This is a terrible tragedy for the WBTV family and we pray for them and all those in the media who work so hard to keep the public informed.”
WBTV released information on each of the victims on Tuesday. Myers, the meteorologist, watched WBTV growing up in Union and Catawba counties. He worked in Raleigh, Texas and Virginia before returning to Charlotte in 2019, according to the station and its LinkedIn page. Myers is survived by his wife Jillian and four children.
Tayag, the pilot, “came to WBTV in 2017 as an ENG pilot piloting Sky3,” the station said. He had more than 20 years of experience as a pilot.
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