New York State Police are investigating a helicopter crash that killed two people Tuesday in Genesee County.
The crash occurred in the town of Elba around 1 pm, according to WGRZ. Both occupants of the Mercy Flight helicopter were killed during the crash, and later identified as Mercy Flight pilot James Sauer, 60, and Bell Helicopter Flight instructor/pilot Stewart M. Dietrick, 60, the outlet reported.
Sauer is a retired New York State police pilot and had been working with Mercy Flight since October 2020, the outlet continued. “Our hearts are heavy tonight. Remembering a true public servant & man of God [Mercy Flight] James Sauer. A retired [NYS Police pilot] and [Rochester Police] officer & [National Guard] member, Sauer covered MCSO from the air in tactical situations and aided in missing persons,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Office posted to Twitter.
Our hearts are heavy tonight. Remembering a true public servant & man of God, @mercyflightwny James Sauer. A retired @nyspolice Pilot @RochesterNYPD officer & @NationalGuardNY member, Sauer covered MCSO from the air in tactical situations and aided in missing persons. #servant pic.twitter.com/Tm6yAoURKc
— Monroe County Sheriff’s Office (@monroesheriffny) April 27, 2022
No patients were aboard the helicopter when it crashed, according to a statement by Maj Eugene Staniszewski. The pilots were on a training mission and are believed to have taken off from a local airport, he noted.
It is unclear why the helicopter crashed, according to a statement issued by Mercy Flight on the company’s Twitter account. (RELATED: One Death, Over 160 Sickened In Mysterious Hepatitis Outbreak In Children)
“It goes without saying that our attention needs to be focused on the families of those lost and on our own employees as we deal with this unspeakable tragedy. This is a very dark day for the Mercy Flight family, we are so grateful for the expressions of love, concern, and support expressed by many,” Mercy Flight president Margaret Ferrentino said in a statement shared by WGRZ.