A North Carolina meteorologist and a pilot died in a helicopter crash in Charlotte on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
According to the news station WBTV, just after 12 pm, one of its helicopters crashed on Interstate 77, killing meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag.
“The WBTV family is grieving a terrible loss,” the station wrote in a press release. “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.”
Authorities confirmed that both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. The accident left all lanes of traffic near Nations Ford Road closed. But fortunately, no drivers were hurt. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said that Tayag appeared to have gone to great efforts to ensure he did not hit any cars.
“[It] seems the pilot made some diversionary movies to avoid hitting traffic,” said CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings. “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 Helicopter Crash Remains an Open Investigation
The helicopter crash remains an open investigation with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board looking into the matter.
Myers worked in Richmond, Virginia, with Nexstar’s WRIC for seven years before moving to Lexington, Kentucky, and eventually relocating to Charlotte and joining the WBTV team.
His former college, WRIC meteorologist John Bernier, remembers him as “a wonderful, devoted family man.”
“He was one of the nicest people you would ever meet,” Bernier continued. “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 married his childhood friend, Jillian, according to WKRN 2. The couple shares four children.
Tayag had been piloting for over two decades, and he began flying for WBTV in 2017.
“Pray for the families. It’s going to be a difficult holiday season,” CMPD Chief Jennings said.
The NFL’s Carolina Panthers will pay tribute to the victims of the helicopter crash during its annual tree lighting tonight.
“Our thoughts are with our friends at WBTV on the loss of Jason Myers and Chip Tayag,” the team wrote on Twitter. “We will have a moment of silence at tonight’s Tree Lighting in their honor.”