Huntington Beach Police helicopter crashes, killing 1 officer and injuring another


A Huntington Beach police officer was killed and another was injured.

A police officer was killed and another was injured after a police helicopter crashed into water near Newport Beach in California on Saturday.

The helicopter crashed around 6:30 p.m. local time as two officers from the Huntington Beach Police Department responded to nearby Newport Beach, the department said.

“The helicopter crashed for reasons we are not certain of,” Huntington Beach Police Chief Eric Parra told reporters Saturday night. “One of the officers, a 16-year-old veteran, was taken to or from a local hospital where he is in critical condition, but is fine. The other officer, a 14-year-old veteran, sadly and tragically passed away as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.”

Officials identified the slain officer as 44-year-old Nicholas Vella. The second officer has not been identified.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Major Accident Reconstruction Team are investigating the incident.

“I don’t have details of what potentially caused the aircraft to become disabled,” Parra said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. ABC News’ Izzy Alvarez contributed to this report.

ABC News

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