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National Guard soldiers honored as helicopter crash investigation continues

Jan 21, 2021

There were two processions on Thursday as the bodies of the three National Guard soldiers who died in Wednesday's helicopter crash were taken from Mendon to the Medical Examiner's office in Brighton.
Credit Spectrum News

The investigation continues into the Wednesday night crash of a military helicopter in Mendon.  Meanwhile, the three soldiers killed in that crash were honored on Thursday.

There were two processions involving a number of area first responders including police and fire vehicles as the bodies of the three National Guard soldiers were brought from the crash site to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office in Brighton.

The U.S. Army is now the lead investigating agency into the crash of the medevac Blackhawk helicopter which was on a training mission at the time.

The Sheriff’s Department got numerous 911 calls when the crash happened about the aircraft flying unusually low and sounding like the engine was sputtering.

The chopper is based at an Army Aviation Support Facility at the Rochester Airport, and county executive Adam Bello asked for the community’s support in dealing with this tragedy.

“I’m asking that we all please remember their service and sacrifice, lend a hand in support of their families and keep their friends and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” Bello said on Thursday.

The soldiers, who’ve not yet been identified, were members of a  medical evacuation unit which has about 80 members. About half of the unit spent most of 2019 deployed in Afghanistan.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also directed flags on state buildings to be flown at half-staff on Thursday to pay tribute to the National Guard members.    

The Associated Press contributed to this story.