Huntington Beach police helicopter crashes in California; 1 dead, 1 critical

The crash happened hours after a previous helicopter crash off Miami Beach, Florida

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A Huntington Beach, California, police helicopter crashed into waters in Newport Beach on Saturday night, killing one police officer and critically injuring another, according to reports.

The deceased officer was identified as Nicholas Vella, 44, who was "truly dedicated to his job, who loved what he was doing," Huntington Beach police Chief Eric Parra said, according to FOX 11 of Los Angeles.

The injured officer was identified only as a 16-year veteran of the local force, the station reported.

Hunting Beach police first confirmed the crash in a Twitter message around 7:30 p.m. local time.

"We can confirm that our police helicopter, HB1, crash landed in the Newport Beach area," the message said. "Rescue efforts are underway & more information will be released when available."

FLORIDA HELICOPTER CRASHES INTO OCEAN NEAR CROWDED BEACH

Dozens of witnesses in Newport Beach saw the helicopter go down around 6:45 p.m., KCBS-TV of Los Angeles reported.

The helicopter was visible between Lido Isle and the Balboa Peninsula, according to the station.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

The scene in Newport Beach, California, on Saturday night after a police helicopter crash.

The scene in Newport Beach, California, on Saturday night after a police helicopter crash. (FOX 11 Los Angeles)

The scene in Newport Beach, California, on Saturday night after a police helicopter crash.

The scene in Newport Beach, California, on Saturday night after a police helicopter crash. (FOX 11 Los Angeles)

A rescue crew responds to the site of the crash of a Huntington Beach, California, police helicopter in Newport Beach, California, Feb. 19, 2022.

A rescue crew responds to the site of the crash of a Huntington Beach, California, police helicopter in Newport Beach, California, Feb. 19, 2022. (FOX 11 Los Angeles)

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The helicopter crash in California happened hours after a helicopter went down off Miami Beach, Florida, in another incident that occurred with witnesses watching from along the beach.

Two people were hospitalized in the Florida crash, reports said.