Two Different Helicopters Crash On Either Side Of Country. One Police Officer Dies, Several Others Injured

[Twitter Screenshot/Fox 11 Los Angeles]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Two helicopter crashes Saturday in Florida and California left one police officer dead and several other people injured, with graphic footage showing the moment one aircraft went down.

The first incident took place just off Miami Beach around 1:10 p.m., when a helicopter, carrying three people, crashed “under unknown circumstances,” WESH reported, citing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Video footage of the incident shows the helicopter rapidly descending into the ocean near several beachgoers.

Miami Beach Police said two occupants of the helicopter were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in stable condition.

Hours later, a helicopter carrying two Huntington Beach police officers crashed off the coast of Southern California, killing one of the officers.

The incident unfolded around 6:30 p.m., when the officers were responding to a report of a disturbance in Newport Beach, The Associated Press (AP) reported. The helicopter hit a strip of water between Lido Isle and the Balboa Peninsula, landing upside down, according to the report. Witnesses reportedly rushed to the aircraft to try and help the officers.

Officer Nicholas Vella, 44, died in the crash, leaving behind a wife and daughter, according to police. The other officer was taken to a hospital and later released, according to the AP. (RELATED: 3 People, Infant Survive After Medical Helicopter Crashes Near Church)

One witness told CBS Los Angeles the helicopter appeared “out of control” before it crashed.

“We were driving over here and we heard the pitch of the helicopter and it sounded like the helicopter was in distress,” the witness said. “When we looked at the helicopter it was out of control. It was obvious the helicopter was gonna go down. It did go down, and almost immediately sunk.”