A retired officer with the Columbus (GA) Police Department has been identified as one of the dead in a helicopter crash into a lake just north of Montgomery, Alabama.
David Hall had been piloting the Bell OH-58 Kiowa helicopter that served the Columbus-based Metro Narcotics Task Force that went down in Lake Mitchell on Friday.
After a two-day search for the helicopter and the passengers, the Chilton County coroner’s office said two bodies were recovered Sunday afternoon. The other occupant of the helicopter has not yet been identified.
“We are coming back from Alabama where the bodies have been removed from the helicopter after the crash on Friday. We’ve touched base with all family members now and this is the end of a long weekend,” Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren said Sunday afternoon during a brief news conference at the Columbus Airport.
Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson mourned Hall’s death on Twitter.
“He was beloved and respected by his fellow officers and by all who knew him,” Tomlinson said.
Hall, who was 53, joined the Columbus police force in 1990 and served for 28 years. Despite his retirement, Tomlinson said Hall still served the city with his piloting skills.
The crash scene has since been turned over to National Transportation Safety Board investigators.
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