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One officer dead, another injured in crash of Huntington Beach Police helicopter

The Huntington Beach Police Department has confirmed that the crash of Huntington Beach Police helicopter HB1 took the life of HBPD Police Officer Nicholas Vella.

Huntington Beach Police Officer Nicholas Vella. Courtesy photo.
Huntington Beach Police Officer Nicholas Vella. Courtesy photo.

A second officer was injured and is hospitalized in stable condition.

The unit was answering a service call at the time of the incident. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The tweet that announced Officer Vella’s death collected condolence messages from dozens of people stretching coast to coast that came from citizens and from other agencies. For example:

Feeling heartbroken.. Thank you for your service. Just one week ago you were showing us all around your area and sharing “teenage daughter” stories. Praying for your family! RIP Nick

and

On behalf of Chief Kelley Fraser and the men and women of the Alhambra Police Department, we extend our most profound condolences as you mourn the loss of Officer Nicholas Vella. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Officer Vella and the injured officer.

Twitter thread concerning the incident