3 National Guard Members Killed In New York Helicopter Crash

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Three members of the New York National Guard were killed Wednesday night after the helicopter they were traveling in crashed, according to authorities.

The UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter was carrying the soldiers and was based at the Army Aviation Support Facility at Rochester International Airport, according to the New York State Division of Military & Naval Affairs.

The helicopter was conducting a routine training mission when it went down in the Town of Mendon at approximately 6:32 p.m., Monroe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

“It is with heavy hearts that we stand before you tonight,” Sheriff Todd K. Baxter said in a news conference. “Another example that freedom is not free.”

Baxter said 911 calls reported lots of “sputtering, the sounds of an engine and that the aircraft was flying very low, more low than normal,” according to CNN. (RELATED: National Guard Sergeant Teaches Zoom Classes From Capitol)

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was “devastated” by the news and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff Thursday in honor of the deceased service members.

“National Guard members are our citizen soldiers who voluntarily serve and protect both here and abroad, and I extend prayers and condolences from all New Yorkers to the family, loved ones and fellow soldiers of these honorable heroes who we will never forget.”

The investigation remains ongoing. The three service members have not been identified.