3 Dead After National Guard Helicopter Crash

(Cupventi.com) – In a tragic incident that unfolded on Friday, a helicopter patrolling the skies above the Texas segment of the U.S.-Mexico border met with a devastating accident, resulting in the loss of three lives and leaving another individual critically injured.

This unfortunate event involved two National Guard soldiers and a Border Patrol agent, with the military confirming their deaths. The helicopter, a UH-72 Lakota, was engaged in the federal government’s efforts to secure the border at the time of the crash near Rio Grande City, a statement from Joint Task Force North detailed. The specific cause of the crash remains under thorough investigation.

The incident occurred in the mid-afternoon while the helicopter was performing aviation operations, though further specifics about the crash were not immediately available. Starr County’s highest-ranking official, Judge Eloy Vera, disclosed that the crew comprised one woman and three men, indicating the severity of the situation as the survivor was reported to be in a dire condition.

As the community awaited the release of the names of the deceased, the broader national response was one of mourning and respect for their service. General Daniel Hokanson, the leader of the National Guard Bureau, extended his deepest sympathies through a message on X, acknowledging the profound loss of the three service members and offering prayers for the quick recovery of the injured soldier.

His message highlighted the fallen and injured as embodiments of selfless dedication and the pinnacle of American values, though official comments from Border Patrol were pending at the time.

The crash site, located in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, quickly became the focus of local and federal authorities. The Starr County Sheriff’s Office announced its involvement in managing the aftermath of the “downed helicopter incident” through social media, confirming the area was secured and that federal agencies were en route to investigate further.

This region is known for its intensive surveillance and patrolling efforts by state and federal personnel, underscoring the importance of aerial operations in border security tasks. The accident recalls a previous incident in January, where a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter, part of Operation Lone Star—a significant border mission initiated by Texas Governor Greg Abbott—experienced a power loss and crashed. Fortunately, in that earlier incident, injuries were minor, and the damage was largely confined to the aircraft itself.

Such occurrences bring to light the inherent risks associated with aerial patrols and the critical nature of border security operations. They also serve as a somber reminder of the sacrifices made by those committed to protecting the nation’s frontiers. As investigations into the crash continue, the focus remains on supporting the affected families and colleagues during this difficult time, while also reflecting on the need for ensuring the safety of those who serve.