Calvert County Times April 20, 2017 - Page 3

Thursday, April 20, 2017 The Calvert County Times Local News 3 Town Engineer Announces Departure By Dick Myers Staff Writer Photo by Mike Batson Army Helicopter Crashes In Leonardtown Neighborhood By Guy Leonard Staff Writer One soldier was killed and two oth- ers seriously injured after the U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter they were fl ying on a training exercise crashed at the golf course in the Breton Bay community in St. Mary’s. Local fi refi ghters, rescue squads, sher- iff’s deputies and neighborhood commu- nity members all tried to help bring the three-member crew out of the UH-60 he- licopter after it crashed at about 1:35 p.m. Monday at the Breton Bay Golf and Coun- try Club right next to Fairway Drive. Witnesses who saw and heard the heli- copter crash described a smoking aircraft spiraling down to the ground. The helicopter came down just outside of the Jaffers’ family backyard. “It was pretty low,” said Gina Jaf- fers, who saw the helicopter just before it crashed. “It started spinning and there was a lot of smoke coming from it. Photo by Mike Batson “It just hit a tree and it crashed. It sounded like a bomb.” Gina’s brother Nick and her father Alex Jaffers both ran to the wrecked aircraft and found two of the crew still strapped in to their seats. “There were people running in from all directions to help,” Nick Jaffers told The County Times less than an hour after the crash. “We pulled one guy out and he was screaming and his face was covered in blood; his leg was out of place.” Another of the crew in the forward sec- tion of the craft had no visible injuries, Nick said. The third member of the crew in the back of the helicopter was covered by pieces of the wreckage, he said. “We couldn’t pick it up,” Nick said. According to statements from the Army the helicopter was part of the 12 th Aviation Battalion stationed at Davison Airfi eld, Fort Belvoir, VA. The helicopter crashed during a routine training fl ight, the state- ment read. Of the two crew members who survived one is listed in seri- ous condition and the other in critical condition; after the crash both were transported to the Uni- versity of Maryland’s R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The Army has not yet released the names of the crew. The army is still trying to fi nd the cause of the crash; a team of in- vestigators from the Army Combat Readiness Center, in Fort Rucker, Alabama was scheduled to be at the crash site on Tuesday in an at- tempt to fi nd the cause. “We are deeply saddened by this loss within our community,” said Maj. Gen. Bradley A. Beck- er, commanding general at Joint Forces Headquarters National Capital Region and the U.S. Mili- tary District of Washington. “Our condolences go out to the fami- lies and friends affected by this tragedy and our team is focused on supporting them during this diffi cult time.” North Beach’s long-time engineer is leaving the position at the end of June. John Hoffman, who started in the posi- tion in 1998, made the announcement to the mayor and town council at their April 13 meeting. He also served as zoning administrator. Hoffman is not a town employee, but served in the two positions under a con- tract with the town. In making the an- nouncement Hoffman said he would remain until the end of June to ease the transition for whoever steps in. Taking over the duties of zoning ad- ministrator will be Rick Crump, who is a current code enforcement offi cer. Crump, who is a town employee, will be taking over the zoning administration as a col- lateral duty. Hoffman said he was sure the transition into those duties by Crump would be smooth. Mayor Mark Frazer said there are simi- larities between zoning administration and code enforcement that make sense transitioning Crump into both rol es. Frazer told the County Tines that he is interviewing people for the town engineer contract position. But he said he is lean- ing towards hiring the current Chesapeake Beach contact engineer Paul Woodburn to do the job. He said there are some current projects on the town’s agenda that require someone skilled to handle them. One of those projects that will be the responsibility of the new engineer is the elevated walkway over the creek marsh along Route 261 at the town/Anne Arun- del County line. Frazer praised Hoffman after he made the announcement to leave. He said the town has improved tremendously “be- cause of the infrastructure and capital improvements you have been able to make.” Several council members also praised Hoffman and wished him well. He said he was leaving for personal and business reasons. Hoffman will be honored at a re- ception in the town hall after the June town meeting. Bowen's Grocery Family Owned & Operated Since 1929 The Charm and Quality of the Past with the Convenience and Variety of Today HAPPY EASTER! 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