Two people were killed while returning from a maintenance run in Phoenix after their helicopter, which was leased by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office, crashed. The helicopter was on its way to Arizona’s Sierra Vista airport when it lost contact with the sheriff department at about 7 p.m.
On board the plane were the pilot and a mechanic, both of whom worked for Cochise Air, which is used by the sheriff’s office for law enforcement missions. The chopper lost touch around Benson, about 150 miles southeast of Phoenix, Carol Capas, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said, The Associated Press (AP) reported. Authorities reportedly did not reveal the names of the victims. The National Transportation Safety Board is to investigate the case, AP reported.
Sheriff Mark Dannels, said in a statement, according to NBC News, that he and his deputies worked closely with the victims, and called their deaths a “tragic loss.” Dannels also said that the two men were a “part of the Sheriff's Office family."
"This news leaves me personally, and this organization, with a heavy heart because of the tragic loss of two incredible lives," Dannels said in a statement, according to KGUN9, a local affiliate of ABC News, reported, adding: "We have worked closely with this company and these two individuals since receiving Cochise Air and knowing that they are considered part of Sheriff's Office family makes this so much harder. We send our condolences out to the families of the two people who will truly be missed."