Cley Helicopter Crash Latest

The scene of a helicopter crash yesterday evening (Tuesday 7 January 2013) remains cordoned off as investigations into what happened continues.

UPDATE: 19:19

The names of the four people who died in the crash have now been named by RAF Lakenheath.

They are Capt. Christopher S. Stover, Capt. Sean M. Ruane, Tech. Sgt. Dale E. Mathews, and SSgt Afton M. Ponce.

The Pave Hawk helicopter carries a four-person aircrew - a pilot, co-pilot, and two special mission aviators who are qualified as both gunners and flight engineers. On this particular mission, Stover and Ruane were the pilots, and Mathews and Ponce were the special mission aviators.

"We continue to think of the loved ones who are experiencing such a tragic, sudden loss," said Col. Kyle Robinson, 48th Fighter Wing commander. "The Liberty Wing feels as though it has lost members of its family, and we stand by to support one another and these Airmen's families during this difficult time."


Police are still leading on the enquiry on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coroner Jacqueline Lake and are being helped by other agencies including the Ministry of Defence and US Air Force.
Today these agencies have examined the scene of the crash, which has also been visited by the Coroner, to establish the safest and most respectful way of removing the deceased and the wreckage. There will be some tasks taking place overnight, however the aircraft and those who have died will remain in situ for now as their removal could disrupt evidence.
The undamaged aircraft will also not be moved in order to preserve the scene and items will start to be recovered from the crashed aircraft tomorrow. Once the scene is handed over for the accident investigation element to begin, the cordon will still remain in place for a number of days.
This is likely to cause some disruption and the A149 will be closed from Salthouse to Old Woman’s Lane until possibly Monday.
Speaking from the scene, Chief Superintendent Bob Scully said: "There are a significant number of specialists involved in the investigation including, the RAF, USAF and senior investigators and crime scene investigators from Norfolk Constabulary. We are all working together to secure all the evidence necessary for us to find out what happened to the aircraft.”

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