SAN DIEGO – The military says a U.S. sailor who died after he was struck by a helicopter blade at a Southern California base was a flight surgeon from Florida.
Officials say Navy Lt. James A. Mazzuchelli died at a hospital Saturday after being hit three days earlier by the spinning tail rotor of a Venom helicopter at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.
A statement Sunday said the 32-year-old from Orange Park, Florida, joined the Navy in 2010. He was assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, Marine Aircraft Group 39, at Camp Pendleton.
Col. Matthew Mowery called Mazzuchelli a talented physician who was well-liked for his enthusiasm and passion.
Officials did not release details on how the accident happened. An investigation is ongoing.