POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - People that were left rattled after a Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue helicopter crashed into an apartment complex in Pompano Beach on Monday described what they saw and heard.
At least two apartments were destroyed after the crash.
7News spoke to a man who, along with his brother, lived at an apartment that was hit by the helicopter.
A trail of black smoke plagued the helicopter that was only up in the air for around two minutes. It didn’t take long for it to spin out of control.
The two brothers were sent to the hospital and were released Monday afternoon. The next step for the family is to work on picking up the pieces.
“We’ve always seen a whole lot, but what we witnessed here today, earlier today, was just another sad tragic story, event, that we have to forgot how to survive through,” said Terran Vandiver, helicopter crash victim.
Vandiver’s sister, Quiana Carter, Told 7News that her brothers were only able to survive because of one thing.
“Both of my brothers climbed out the window,” Carter said.
His niece, Tanahjae Bigelow, rushed to the scene once she heard about the crash. The only information she knew at the time was that her two uncles who live there were sent to the hospital.
“It’s just shocking,” Bigelow said. “It’s not, it’s not good for anyone right now.”
The helicopter landed on top of the apartment complex, which was also the home of Bigelow’s late grandmother.
“She passed last October,” Bigelow said.
Bigelow was still in disbelief when she found out her uncles were able to make it out of the home.
“I don’t know how they got out, that’s the thing,” she said. “I just think they knew that it was on fire and probably the neighbors were knocking on the door trying to get them out.”
Bigelow rushed over from her Boyton Beach home when she heard about the crash.
“So this is just a shock to us coming down here,” she said. “Most of it went through her living room. So that’s why it’s a big shock to everyone.”
From an aerial view, damage was seen in the living room Bigelow and her family spent so much time in.
Although her uncles are expected to be OK, not everyone at the complex survived.
One woman died when the helicopter crashed.
The pilot of the the helicopter also died during the crash.
“Our captain, our fallen captain, Terryson Jackson, 50 years of age, has been with the organization for 19 years, and forgive me because I knew Terryson personally for over 14 years.” said BSO Sheriff Gregory Tony.
Sheriff Tony said that made this incident so much harder to process.
“To be honest with you, I’m not assessing the damage of the buildings, I’m worried about my guys,” Tony said. “Right now, property can get repaired and fixed, we have insurance for these types of things, not to mitigate it, but the most important priority right now is that we lost really two people in an accident. We’re gonna look at what we can do to better ourselves to make sure we mitigate these types of things.”
7News camera captured the two survivors surveying the damage at the complex.
People in the area made a small memorial of balloons and American flags to honor the lives that were lost.
The Red Cross was at the scene to assist people that needed help.
Tony said the crash was the result of mechanical issues. He also said that BSO is doing everything they can to mitigate the problem and to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
An investigation is underway.
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