WBTV Pilot And Meteorologist Killed In Helicopter Crash On North Carolina Interstate: Police

Screenshot/Public/The Charlotte Observer

Devan Bugbee Contributor
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A pilot and a meteorologist for the local news outlet WBTV died Tuesday morning after their helicopter crashed near Interstate 77, police say.

The helicopter crashed at around 12:20 p.m. in a grassy spot near the southbound lanes of Interstate 77 in Charlotte, North Carolina, close by the Nations Ford Road exit, WBTV reported. Meteorologist Jason Myers and Sky3 pilot Chip Tayag died in the accident involving a Robinson R44 helicopter, according to an update.

“Our news helicopter Sky3 crashed mid-day Tuesday with two of our colleagues on board. Meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag lost their lives,” WBTV said in a statement. “We are working to comfort their families in this difficult time. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our staff and your continued prayers for their families.” (RELATED: REPORT: Police Investigate After Off-Duty Officer Shoots Two, Then Kills Herself)

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings called Tayag a hero in a tweet, praising the pilot for his “diversionary moves away from the highway to save lives.”

“Because of his heroic acts, there were no further injuries or vehicles on the highway involved in the incident,” the police chief continued.

Following the crash, police closed the southbound lanes until around 4:30 p.m., The Charlotte Observer reported. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to investigate the accident. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the State Highway Patrol, and the Charlotte Fire Department are holding the scene of the crash until investigators arrive, according to the outlet.