Helicopter Crashes on Texas A&M's Campus; One Dead

By: KBTX Staff Email
By: KBTX Staff Email

One person was killed and four others were injured Monday after the Army Blackhawk helicopter they were on crashed into a field near the Corps of Cadets quad on the campus of Texas A&M University.

The Army UH-60 Blackhawk had a crew of five on board, including four members of the Army National Guard and one member of the ROTC staff at Texas A&M who is a recent graduate, according to Texas A&M officials.

Another person on the ground was hit by debris from the helicopter, officials said.

News 3 has learned the soldier killed was Lt. Zachary Cook, a member of the Aggie class of 2008.

The helicopter was reportedly taking off with the crew on board when it fell abruptly back to the ground around 3 p.m. The rotor apparently failed on the helicopter during takeoff, Texas A&M officials said.

Some of the injured were taken to St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan, others to the College Station Medical Center. Their names have not been released.

Officials with the College Station Medical Center say that the pilot, co-pilot and a crew member were taken to their hospital. Two of those patients are listed in critical condition, the other is in stable.

Officials at The Med also said that a bystander who was hit with debris is listed in good condition.

The conditions of those taken to St. Joseph Regional Health Center is unknown.

The University’s Code Maroon emergency notification system was activated shortly after the crash notifying students of the crash.

Fires were spotted according to News 3's crews on the scene just after they arrived.

Blockades were put in place as a result.

News 3's Blake Mathews said about 1:30 p.m., there were five helicopters sitting on the campus, with three at one point taking off together and flying away. An hour later, around 2:30 p.m., two were still on the ground, with one about to take off.

The helicopter, along with 190 cadets in the university’s Corps of Cadets, was participating in the ROTC Winter Field Training Exercises taking place at the university. Texas A&M was not in winter break at the time of the accident.

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