Two people were killed in a helicopter crash along Interstate 77 near Tyvola Road in south Charlotte on Tuesday afternoon.
Hank Lee, James Brierton (WCNC), Blair Shiff (WCNC)
12:11 PM EST November 22, 2022
2:41 PM EST November 22, 2022
CHARLOTTE, NC – Two people have been killed in a helicopter crash along Interstate 77 in south Charlotte on Tuesday afternoon, officials confirmed. WNC Charlotte learned that the helicopter belongs to the local television station WBTV.
The accident happened around noon between Tyvola Road and Ford of Nations Road along the south side of I-77. Medical confirmed that both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Their identities are not shared at this time.
Heavy traffic is piled on the southbound lanes of I-77 between Tyvola Road and Nations Ford Road.
WCNC Charlotte confirmed the helicopter is a 1999 Robinson R44.
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All lanes of I-77 near the crash are blocked off as crews respond to the incident. The CMPD closed several ramps on I-77 near the accident. Drivers should avoid the area at this time. Authorities said they expected I-77 in that area to be closed until midnight.
WHAT WE KNOW
- The helicopter is owned by the Charlotte WBTV television station
- 2 people were pronounced dead at the scene
- The helicopter was a 1999 Robinson R44
- CMPD blocking access to I-77 near the scene
A witness told WCNC Charlotte it appeared that the pilot knew the helicopter was in trouble and made an aggressive move to avoid crashing directly into I-77.
“I think he absolutely knew he was going to have to ask this,” the man said. “He did his best to put it down… Whoever the pilot was, he did his best to put this thing down where it wasn’t going to hurt a lot of people, and in that respect they did a fabulous job. .”
WCNC Charlotte President and CEO Joan Barrett released the following statement when the station learned that the helicopter belonged to WBTV:
We would like to express our deepest condolences to the staff and family members of the WBTV team. Losing team members in this way is heartbreaking. We are here to help the WBTV team in any way we can.
WCNC Charlotte contacted Medical and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police for more information.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the cause of the accident.
Although details have yet to be released, the The NTSB has a standard process it usually follows following an aviation accident.
This story will be updated once more information becomes available.
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