Truckee Sailor among Dead in Virginia Helicopter Crash
WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN)-
A Truckee man was among the sailors killed Wednesday when an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter crashed off the coast of Virginia.
The dead were identified as Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Collins, 25, of Truckee, and Lt. Wesley Van Dorn, 29, of Greensboro, North Carolina.
Two others were injured, and one was reported missing. The search was called off for the missing sailor, according to the Coast Guard.
The search for the sailor lasted more than 30 hours and covered more than 500 square miles, Coast Guard Capt. John Little said. The Navy has not identified the missing sailor.
The Navy helicopter and its five-person crew set off Wednesday morning from Norfolk to conduct “routine mine countermeasure operations,” said Capt. Todd Flannery, commander of the Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic, based in Norfolk.
The first apparent sign of trouble came about 10:45 a.m., when the aircraft’s crew issued a distress call.
It went down soon thereafter, with a second MH-53E Sea Dragon operating in the same area providing “immediate support,” according to Flannery.
The helicopter was assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 (HM-14), based at Naval Station Norfolk (Chambers Field).
The MH-53E Sea Dragon carries no weapons. It has two pilots and a crew of one to six, depending on its mission, according to the Navy.
Ian McDonald contributed to this report.
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