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Westchester Native Seriously Injured In Fatal Helicopter Crash

A Black Hawk helicopter, similar to the one that crashed.
A Black Hawk helicopter, similar to the one that crashed. Photo Credit: Wikimedia

An Irvington native and West Haverstraw resident was one of two soldiers seriously injured during a fatal Black Hawk helicopter crash Monday at Breton Bay Golf Course in Leonardtown, Maryland, according to U.S. Army officials.

Capt. Terikazu Onoda, the company commander, and a 2009 West Point graduate was critically injured when the helicopter crashed during a training mission, Army officials added.

Onoda and Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Nicholas are being treated at the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, but Spc. Jeremy Tomlin, 22, of Unionville, N.C., died at the scene, the Army reported.

Nicholas remains in critical condition, Onoda was upgraded on Wednesday from critical to serious condition, officials said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our soldiers, their families, and friends,” said Col. Amanda Azubuike, director of public affairs, Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. “Our top priority is the health of our soldiers and ensuring that their family members are provided the support they need.”

Onoda graduated from Irvington High School in 2005 where he was active in wrestling. His family moved to West Haverstraw after his graduation.

“I am deeply saddened that West Haverstraw resident, Army Captain Terikazu Onoda, was injured in a helicopter crash this week in Maryland," said Congresswoman Nita Lowey. "Captain Onoda’s dedication to serving and protecting his fellow citizens is an inspiration to all. My heart is with him and his family as we pray for his full recovery.”

At the time of the incident, three UH-60 Black Hawks were conducting a routine training mission. Only one helicopter was involved in the incident, the other helicopters were not impacted and there were no injuries to their crew members, Army officials said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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