A North Carolina newsroom is in mourning after a tragic helicopter crash killed two beloved colleagues on Tuesday afternoon.
The helicopter belonged to Charlotte television station WBTV, and both of the men who died in the crash were part of the WBTV news team: meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag.
According to local police, Tayag deftly maneuvered the chopper as it went down near Interstate-77 to avoid hitting lunch hour traffic on the ground below. Because of his prowess, no other vehicles were involved in the accident.
“The pilot is a hero in my eyes,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings tweeted. “Witnesses indicated that the pilot made diversionary moves away from the highway to save lives. Because of his heroic acts, there were no further injuries or vehicles on the highway involved in the incident.”
WBTV news anchors Jamie Boll and Molly Grantham both had to fight back tears as they reported live on the deaths of their coworkers.
“Jamie and I are learning it here as our newsroom is learning it and trying to figure it out while deeply grieving,” Grantham said while discovering the details live on the air. “We’re giving the news and we’re all — all — of our WBTV family grieving Chip and Jason because we love them.”
“The words are hard to come by folks, we’ve been holding on to this for a while,” Boll said, his voice quaking. “Every single day in this newsroom, Chip would wave at you say hello, ask you how you’re doing. He’d wave from behind the pilot’s chair of the helicopter.”
“Jason Myers — I could go on and on,” he continued. “He would bound through this newsroom with incredible energy and smiles and just cared about everybody here.”
Both the FAA and NTSB are currently investigating what caused the helicopter to go down.