Multiple Military Personnel Killed in Tragic Accident


Three Idaho Army National Guard personnel were killed in a tragic helicopter crash near Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday night.

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter they were flying for a routine training flight crashed south of Lucky Peak shortly after 8 p.m., according to a statement posted on the Idaho National Guard Facebook page.

Col. Christopher Burt, the Idaho Army National Guard’s state aviation officer, said the aircraft was last heard from at 7:45 p.m.

The emergency transmitter locator device on the helicopter was activated after 8 p.m. and emergency aircraft recovery procedures were immediately initiated.

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The ground search and rescue crews located the aircraft and the pilots at around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday.

It is not known at this time what caused the crash, but an investigation will begin “promptly.”

“This is a tremendous loss to the Idaho National Guard and our community,” Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, commander of the Idaho National Guard and adjutant general of Idaho, said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones as we work through this tragedy.”

The names of the deceased will not be released until their families have been notified.

Idaho National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Borders told ABC News that the aircraft went down in the mountains and the weather was snowy at the time of the crash.

“There was snow. It’s been poor conditions on and off throughout the period,” he said.

“It hampered our initial air search efforts when we were notified that the emergency locator had triggered. As a result we immediately launched a ground crew to search.”

“At approximately 11 p.m. the weather improved enough to launch another aircraft to commence the air search,” he continued. “And after midnight tonight, approximately 12:15 a.m. our search and rescue crew located the aircraft and confirmed there were no survivors.”

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Several Idaho lawmakers offered their condolences on Twitter.

“Our citizen-soldiers embody a spirit of service and the best of American patriotism, and this loss is felt deeply throughout Idaho,” Rep. Mike Simpson tweeted.

Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch both said they were “saddened” to learn of the deaths.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith