(AP) — A medical rescue helicopter caught fire and broke apart shortly after takeoff Monday before crashing into an apartment complex near Fort Lauderdale, killing a paramedic captain on board and a resident on the ground, authorities said.
Two others on board and two other people at the apartment complex were injured.
Broward County Fire-Rescue Captain Terryson Jackson, 49, and a woman died when the Broward Sheriff’s Office helicopter crashed through the complex’s roof after taking off from Pompano Beach Airpark at about 8:45 a.m., Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
He said the four injured were taken to the hospital and are expected to survive.
Jackson was a 19-year veteran of the department.
“Terryson was a rock star, he was one of the best of us,” said Tony, who also oversees the county’s fire department.
“He bled this profession inside and out all day long.”
The injured firefighters are pilot Daron Roche, 37, and Mike Chaguaceda, 31.
The dead woman’s name was not released as her family was being notified, Tony said.
The three-member crew was heading to an emergency medical rescue to take the patient to the hospital.