WBTV helicopter crashes on I-77 South, two killed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – WBTV Meteorologist Jason Myers and Sky3 pilot Chip Tayag were killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday in the southbound lanes of Interstate 77 in south Charlotte.

The crash happened in the area of I-77 near the Nations Ford Road exit. Crews say the two lanes reopened just before 4:30 p.m. and another lane will open around noon Wednesday.

WBTV issued the following statement following the crash:

“The WBTV family is grieving a terrible loss. Our news helicopter Sky3 crashed mid-day Tuesday with two of our colleagues on board. Meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag lost their lives. We are working to comfort their families in this difficult time. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our staff and your continued prayers for their families.”

Related: WBTV mourning the loss of meteorologist Jason Myers, pilot Chip Tayag

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Robinson R44 helicopter crashed around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, agency officials said.

“The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates. Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents,” a statement read.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings said no vehicles on the interstate were involved in the crash and the helicopter crashed off to the side of the roadway.

In a tweet, Jennings called the pilot a hero, stating that witnesses indicated Tayag made “diversionary moves away from the highway to save lives.”

“Because of his heroic acts, there were no further injuries or vehicles on the highway involved in this incident,” Jennings said.

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted the agency will be investigating the crash. Jennings said the CMPD, along with Charlotte Fire, will be assisting with the scene.