Investigators: Downed police chopper hit power line

Two passengers, one a retired officer who still worked with the Columbus PD, were killed


By Chelsea Prince
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. — A retired Georgia police officer was one of two people killed Friday in a helicopter crash in middle Alabama. 

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson announced on Twitter Sunday that retired Columbus police officer David Hall was piloting the chopper when it went down in Cargile Creek at Lake Mitchell in Chilton County, Ala. 

Hall and his passenger were flying a Metro Narcotics Task Force helicopter to Clanton, Ala., for routine maintenance when the aircraft hit a power line that stretched across the Coosa River, Tomlinson said.

The task force serves Harris, Russell and Muscogee counties, as well as Phenix City, Ala., and Columbus.

Federal, local and state agencies searched the lake for two days before recovering the bodies Sunday afternoon, AL.com reported. The passenger was a 22-year-old man who is not being identified at the request of his family. He was not a Columbus officer, Tomlinson said.

Hall, 53, had recently retired from the Columbus Police Department after serving 28 years but “still served the city through his piloting skills,” she said. He was a graduate of Jordan High School and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. 

“He was beloved and respected by his fellow officers and by all who knew him,” Tomlinson said in a statement on behalf of Columbus consolidated government. “He will be missed.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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