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Border agent dies in helicopter crash


As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives to the same principles of honor, duty and courage that brought you to the badge. Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls, our resolve to serve those in need is not diminished. Our dedication to protecting those in danger is not weakened. Our commitment to remembering those with whom we shared the badge does not fade.

Godspeed, brothers and sisters. You fought the good fight. Now rest in peace…


May 23, 2007

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Border agent dies in helicopter crash

Officer Down: Agent Robert Smith - [San Elizario, Texas]


Biographical Info

Age: 46


ODMP



Cause of Death: Aircraft accident

Additional Information:  Agent Smith had served in law enforcement for 16 years. He is survived by his wife and mother.

Incident Details: Agent Smith was killed in a helicopter accident in San Elizario, Texas, while conducting a routine aerial patrol of the border area. The helicopter experienced a mechanical failure and crashed into a residential area.

Nearby citizens and Border Patrol agents immediately responded to the scene and removed Agent Smith and a Border Patrol agent who was acting as an observer. Both agents were transported to Thomason Hospital, where Agent Smith later succumbed to his injuries.

End of Watch: May 22, 2007


The Associated Press

EL PASO, Tex. — A small U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter crashed in a residential area during a routine patrol along the Mexican border Tuesday, killing the pilot and critically injuring the other person onboard after slamming into a backyard and hitting a pickup truck.

The pilot and passenger, who was a Border Patrol observer monitoring the area for illegal activity, were taken by ambulance to a hospital, Senior Border Patrol Agent Patrick Berry said.

No one on the ground was hurt, but one resident was treated for anxiety, Berry said.

A witness to the crash about 10 miles east of El Paso said the helicopter appeared to be coming from New Mexico when it suddenly started having trouble.

"They were flying along real good, then there was a snapping, popping noise," said Wayne Weaver, 47. "You could hear a light hum, then like a thunk." Then the helicopter disappeared and he heard a "boom," Weaver said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.



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