CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – A meteorologist and a pilot were killed in a Tuesday afternoon helicopter crash in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Charlotte news station WBTV confirmed that the two people killed in a helicopter crash on Interstate 77 were meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag.
“The WBTV family is grieving a terrible loss. Our news helicopter Sky3 crashed mid-day Tuesday with two of our colleagues on board. Meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag lost their lives. We are working to comfort their families in this difficult time. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our staff and your continued prayers for their families,” WBTV said.
The crash closed all lanes of traffic near Nations Ford Road, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Southbound traffic was being diverted off of the highway as well.
Authorities confirmed Myers and Tayag were pronounced dead at the scene. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said the helicopter crash occurred on the side of the highway and did not involve any vehicles.
“[It] seems the pilot made some diversionary movies to avoid hitting traffic,” CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said. “Looks like a heroic incident where the pilot tried to avoid injuring anyone else and putting anyone else in danger. That pilot is a hero in my eyes…to the safety and security of everyone on the road.”
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.
Myers previously worked as a meteorologist at Nexstar’s WRIC in Richmond, Virginia.
“Jason was a wonderful, devoted family man,” said WRIC meteorologist John Bernier, who worked with Myers during his time in Richmond. “He was one of the nicest people you would ever meet. He loved covering weather and always wanted to learn more so he could be a better meteorologist. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and coworkers.”
Myers worked at WRIC from 2006 to 2013 before moving to Lexington, Kentucky, and eventually settling in Charlotte. He married his childhood friend, Jillian, and shares four children with her.
Tayag joined WBTV in 2017, according to the station. He was a pilot for more than 20 years.
“Pray for the families. It’s going to be a difficult holiday season,” CMPD Chief Jennings said.