2 killed, 4 injured when fire rescue chopper crashes into Florida apartment building

1 person onboard the helicopter was killed, along with another person on the ground

POMPANO BEACH, Fla – A Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue helicopter crashed into an apartment building in Pompano Beach Monday morning, killing two people and injuring four others, according to News 6 partner WPLG.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, one person onboard the helicopter was killed, along with another person on the ground.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony identified the BSO captain who died in the crash as 50-year-old Terryson Jackson, who has been with the agency for 19 years.

Tony said he knew Jackson personally for over 14 years.

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“Terryson was a rock star. He was one of the best of us, one of the brightest. He bled this profession inside and out all day long,” the sheriff said. “There’s almost 6,000 people in this agency. I’m not going to meet everybody and I haven’t, but that man I knew. I knew very well. And the type of effort and commitment he had for this community – impeccable.”

Tony confirmed that a woman who was inside the apartment building was killed. He said the two other BSO employees who were onboard the chopper were able to crawl out and survived.

He identified them as Pilot Daron Roche, 37, who has been with BSO for four years and firefighter/paramedic Mikael “Mike” Chaguaceda, 31, who has been with BSO for five years.

The crash was reported just after 8:45 a.m. in the area of North Dixie Highway and Atlantic Boulevard, a half-mile southwest of the Pompano Beach Airpark.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that three people were onboard the Eurocopter EC135 helicopter that “crashed into a structure.” Sky 10 was above the scene just after 10 a.m. as an apartment building in the area had a large, gaping hole in the roof with burned debris visible.

Video posted to Facebook shows smoke coming from the helicopter before it starts going around in circles and then crashes to the ground.

Pompano Beach spokeswoman Sandra King said two crew members and two civilians who were inside the apartment building were hospitalized after the crash.

BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright later confirmed that all four were taken to Broward Health North and are listed in fair condition.

Video sent to Local 10 News shows two men who appear to be in uniform sitting on a roof near the crash site.

“They jumped?” a witness is heard saying in the video.

“Yeah,” another witness responded.

“These (expletive) saved their life,” the first witness then said.

Another closer up video shows the two men coming down from the roof after first responders and witnesses placed a ladder against the building.

Local 10 News reporter Samiar Nefzi spoke with the father and sister of the two civilians who were injured.

They said the brothers were alone inside their apartment when the crash occurred.

“I’m trying to find out what’s happening with my brothers. They’re at the hospital and I just got a phone call from my son and I don’t know what’s going on,” the victims’ sister said.

Another resident at the apartment building said he was inside his home when he heard a loud sound.

“When I was inside, there was a ‘pop, pop, pop, pop.’ There was fire (inaudible) everywhere,” he said

Dixie Highway is currently shut down between Northeast Fifth Street and Northeast 10th Street. Drivers are asked to avoid the area.

The FAA confirmed that it will investigate the cause of the collision, along with the NTSB, which will be in charge of the investigation.

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About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

Samiar Nefzi joined the Local 10 News team in August of 2023.