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April 14, 2006
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Mich. chief, fire captain killed in helicopter crash

Related Officer Down

Associated Press Writer

SCIO TOWNSHIP, Mich.- A police chief and a fire official died when their helicopter crashed Thursday while they were searching for a man who ran from a traffic stop, authorities said.

Police Chief Scott Sumner, 42, and fire Capt. Matt Tuttle, 28, were aboard Tuttle's private helicopter when it went down shortly after 3 p.m. about five miles west of Ann Arbor, authorities said.

Both lived and worked in Chelsea, a city of about 4,800 people west of Ann Arbor.

"It's a loss that's going to be felt for a long time," said Mayor Ann Feeney. "Since they've been here their whole lives, they're like our kids."

Tuttle volunteered the use of his chopper after police began searching for the motorist, who ran into the woods after he was pulled over on Interstate 94 and was found to have warrants for his arrest.

Tuttle also was a reserve police officer with the Chelsea department, and police had used his skills as a helicopter pilot in similar situations, sheriff's spokesman David Egeler said.

A police officer witnessed the crash and tried to perform CPR on the men, but they were pronounced dead after paramedics arrived.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration had arrived at the crash site by early evening.

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