Two people were pronounced dead at the scene of a helicopter crash off I-77 near Tyvola and Nations Ford Road Tuesday afternoon, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
According to police, the crash occurred around 12 p.m. on Tuesday. The two people onboard the helicopter, including the pilot, were pronounced dead on the scene by Medic.
QCity Metro learned that the helicopter belonged to Charlotte TV station WBTV. The station later confirmed that the victims were meteorologist Jason Myers and Sky3 pilot Chip Tayag.
WBTV issued the following statement following the crash:
“The WBTV family is grieving a terrible loss. 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. 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.”
The helicopter crashed on the roadside of the interstate. No vehicles on the highway were involved, police say.
CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings told reporters that witnesses on the scene said the pilot used “diversionary” maneuvers to avoid crashing into traffic.
“That’s certainly a heroic act and probably saved lives,” he said.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.
The crash has shut down all of Interstate 77 near the Nations Ford exit, according to CMPD Tuesday afternoon. Police expect it to remain close for an an extended period of time.
A detour is available for drivers through Exit 13A on Interstate 77 South.
This story has been updated to include the name of the victims.