Officials: 9 dead after two military helicopters crash in Trigg County

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News This Morning, 5 a.m. Hour
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 2:11 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 10:15 AM EDT
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CADIZ, Ky. (WSMV/WYMT/AP/CBS NEWS) - Fort Campbell officials confirmed two 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) helicopters were involved in a crash and confirmed nine crew members died as a result.

You can watch the news conference about the incident below.

During the news conference, military officials said a team is coming in from Fort Rucker, Alabama to investigate the crash. No names have been released yet. We’re told next of kin of the fallen troops are still being notified.

One of the things the outside investigative team will look for is the black boxes that each helicopter carries. Officials are hopeful that will give them more information about what happened.

The crash happened just before 10 p.m. on Wednesday in Trigg County. It was reported between Maple Grove Road and Lancaster Road. The crewmembers were flying two HH60 Blackhawk helicopters during a routine training mission.

Kentucky State Police said the helicopters crashed in a field area, and no damage to homes was reported. A perimeter was established around the debris field and the few people living in the area were asked to evacuate.

Nick Tomaszewski lives in south Cadiz and often observes helicopters from Fort Campbell pass overhead, but he said the two that flew by on Wednesday night seemed out of the ordinary.

“I told my wife, ‘Wow, those look really close tonight’ for whatever reason. About a minute later, they were coming across, and there was a large explosion in the sky, almost look like a firework went off. And then the entire tree line lit up,” Tomaszewski said.

Gov. Andy Beshear posted a tweet about the crash.

“We’ve got some tough news out Fort Campbell, with early reports of a helicopter crash and fatalities are expected,” Beshear said.

He also posted a follow-up tweet Thursday morning saying he was traveling to the base to support the troops and their families.

Members of the Kentucky Senate stood for a moment of silence Thursday morning in honor of the crash victims.

“We do not know the extent of what has gone on, but I understand it is bad and there has been a substantial loss of life of our military,” Senate President Robert Stivers told the somber chamber.

United States Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released the following statement:

“Last night, we lost nine servicemembers in an accident during a routine training mission in Kentucky. My heart goes out to the families of these servicemembers and to the members of the 101st Airborne Division who bravely and proudly serve our country each and every day. I’m saddened by this tragic loss, and I am working with Army leadership to make sure our troops and their families receive the care that they need in the wake of this accident.”