Army he­li­copter crash vic­tim, sur­vivors iden­ti­fied

Maryland Independent - - News - By JOHN WHAR­TON jwhar­ton@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @JohnEn­tNews

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN WHAR­TON

Law of­fi­cers se­cure the scene of Mon­day’s fa­tal he­li­copter crash near Leonard­town.

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