Army helicopter crash victim, survivors identified
The identities of the crew members involved in Monday’s fatal military helicopter crash on a St. Mary’s golf course were released Tuesday evening.
Spc. Jeremy Darrell Tomlin, 22, a UH-60 crew chief assigned to the 12th Aviation Battalion originally from Chapel Hill, Tenn., died at the scene, according to a release from the Army.
Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Nicholas, a pilot, and Capt. Terikazu Onoda, Charlie Company commander, were injured in the incident. Both service members are assigned to the 12th Aviation Battalion, and as of Tuesday evening were listed in critical condition at the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, according to the release.
Fire and rescue volunteers joined police rushing to the scene of the 1:37 p.m. crash at the Breton Bay golf course near Leonardtown, staging at the bottom of Society Hill Road, as residents and golfers stood awestruck near the U.S. Army UH60 Blackhawk that witnesses report went out of control and struck a tree before its thunderous impact with the ground.
Two Maryland State Police helicopter crews flew to the scene. The crash’s two survivors were flown out, authorities report.
The Army helicopter, taking part in a routine training flight, was assigned to the 12th Aviation Battalion and stationed at Davison Airfield at Fort Belvoir, Va., according to a release from the U.S. Army Military District of Washington.
Maj. Gen. Bradley A. Becker, commanding general at Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, stated in the release, “We are deeply saddened by this loss within our community. Our condolences go out to the families and friends affected by this tragedy, and our team is focused on supporting them during this difficult time.”
On Wednesday morning, the office of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) released a statement that “I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Spc. Jeremy Darrell Tomlin, as well as the Fort Belvoir community and U.S. Army. I spoke with Defense Secretary Mattis on Monday and expressed my strong support for all those involved in the tragedy, including the two soldiers who were critically injured as a result of the accident. My thoughts are with Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Nicholas and Capt. Terikazu Onoda as they recover from their injuries. … I will continue to closely monitor any developments. I join in standing by our men and women in uniform during this difficult time.”
The cause of the crash is being investigated in part by a team from the Army Combat Readiness Center located in Fort Rucker, Ala., which likely will include talking with the many witnesses.
Law officers secure the scene of Monday’s fatal helicopter crash near Leonardtown.