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, authorities confirmed.
A fire rescue captain aboard the helicopter died in the crash. The other victim, who has not yet been identified, was a woman inside the building.
WATCH: Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony provides update on fatal chopper crash
Cell phone video captured the moments when the helicopter could be seen trailing smoke one second, then spinning uncontrollably the next before the tail caught fire. In an instant, the aircraft crashed on top of an apartment building near NW 10th Street and Dixie Highway.
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony confirmed that 50-year-old Terryson Jackson, a Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue captain, was the person onboard the aircraft who died in the crash.
“Unfortunately in the crash, he was trapped, could not get out, and we lost him,” said Tony at a press conference.
Tony said he had known Jackson personally for over 14 years and that Jackson had been with the agency for 19 years.
“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.”
With a heavy heart, we announce the untimely loss of a longtime employee, Captain Terryson Jackson, who passed away this morning, August 28, 2023, after a BSO Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services helicopter crashed in Pompano Beach. https://t.co/09n2fQWA4O pic.twitter.com/IjdJ1VRWBP— Sheriff Gregory Tony (@bsosherifftony) August 28, 2023
Jackson’s siblings spoke to Local 10 News, saying their brother was someone who always wanted to help people.
“My brother loved to travel and he loved golf,” said Sanje Jackson. “He loves his kids tremendously. I’m really going to miss him, he really is just the kindest person.”
“He was there for his friends, he was there for his family,” Javer Jackson added. “He wanted to serve people, and he died serving people. He’s a hero to me. He’s my big brother.”
The sheriff confirmed that a woman who was inside the apartment building was killed.
She has not yet been identified.
He said the two other BSO employees who were onboard the chopper were able to crawl out and survived.
They were identified 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.
Tony confirmed that, around 8:41 a.m., the flight crew was dispatched to a medical call regarding a traffic crash in North Lauderdale.
“An individual was involved in a car accident with her daughter and the call for services was going to require our aviation unit to come pick this person up and to get them the definitive care because they were suffering life-threatening injuries,” said Tony.
But while the crew was en route to the scene, the pilot was forced to cancel.
Pilot: “We’re having mechanical issues while in flight. We are headed back to our station. You’re going to have to ground transport.”
Tony said: “They were ‘mayday’ and putting out the distress within two minutes, and throughout that time they still had the foresight to notify the local fire department that we weren’t going to be able to land and that they needed to be able to get there and rescue these people. So we’re talking about the character of these men and women — or these men in this case, on this aviation unit — as they were fighting for their life, they were worried about someone else’s.”
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed soon after the incident 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. and captured video showing a large, gaping hole in the roof with burned debris visible.
Tony said a fire broke out onboard the aircraft. “They did their very best to try to extinguish that fire but additional mechanical issues occurred resulting in our unit crashing into one of our local residents here,” he said.
RAW FOOTAGE: Witness video of chopper crash/aftermath in Pompano Beach
Video posted to Facebook shows smoke coming from the helicopter before it starts going around in circles and then crashing to the ground.
On Monday, Tony grounded the three remaining helicopters in the BSO’s aircraft fleet until they all can be re-inspected.
Other video sent to Local 10 News shows two men in uniform sitting on a roof near the crash site.
“They jumped?” a witness is heard saying in the video. “These (expletive) saved their life.”
The sheriff, however, said the crew members did not jump from the chopper but miraculously survived after crawling out.
Another video shot from a closer angle shows the two men coming down from the roof after first responders and witnesses placed a ladder against the building.
“They both are in the hospital right now, they did suffer some injuries but they will be able to survive and recover from those injuries,” said Tony.
Both men are at Broward Health North where they are reported in fair condition.
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.
The two inside the apartment building were also transported to Broward Health North.
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 was shut down between Northeast Fifth Street and Northeast 10th Street for several hours after the crash but reopened before rush hour.
Members of the FAA and the NTSB are at the scene and are investigating the circumstances of the crash.