Helicopter crash in England kills four Air Force members, one an Indiana native

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 8, 2014)– Four Air Force members were killed in a helicopter crash in England Tuesday, one of them an Indiana native.

The four deceased Air Force members were part of the HH-60G aircrew:

  • Capt. Christopher S. Stover
  • Capt. Sean M. Ruane
  • Tech. Sgt. Dale E. Mathews
  • SSgt Afton M. Ponce

Tech. Sgt. Mathews (pictured), from New Carlisle, IN, was a graduate of New Prairie High School.

The US Air Force issued the following statement:

An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter carries a four-person aircrew – a pilot, co-pilot, and two special mission aviators who are qualified as both gunners and flight engineers. On this particular mission, Stover and Ruane were the pilots, and Mathews and Ponce were the special mission aviators.

“We continue to think of the loved ones who are experiencing such a tragic, sudden loss,” said Col. Kyle Robinson, 48th Fighter Wing commander. “The Liberty Wing feels as though it has lost members of its family, and we stand by to support one another and these Airmen’s families during this difficult time.”

The accident is currently under investigation, and more details will be released as they become available.