Video Shows Aftermath Of Fatal Helicopter Crash In Rowlett, Texas Military_Material/ Pixabay

The military helicopter crash that resulted in the death of Capt. James Bellew on March 30, is now under criminal investigation. A military source with knowledge of investigative efforts said the crash was not an accident, as the Army accident investigations discontinued its probe to hand it over to the service’s Criminal Investigation Division.

According to the Army Times, the 26-year-old Army Captain’s death involved two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters stationed at Wright Army Airfield. The airfield is not the primary base for the 3rd Infantry Division’s combat aviation brigade. However, Medevac crew members who go on 24/7 rotation shifts in events of emergencies are stationed at the airfield.

The military birds are used by the Army base at Fort Stewart as well as the city of Hinesville, Georgia for medical evacuations. At the time of the tragic crash, Bellew was on MedEvac duty and was the only casualty in the incident with no other injured crewmembers.

"The initial indication is that all other crew members were asleep at the time of the incident,” a spokesperson for the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, Lt. Col. Lindsey Elder told the media outlet.

The crash took place around 2 am and details are yet to be confirmed as to how Bellew was able to start one helicopter without rousing other crew members from their sleep. It is also not clear why other emergency services personnel or air traffic control staff were not alerted.

Invoking source anonymity, investigative efforts are pointing toward criminal activity, whereby varied narratives indicate the crash was an incident that involved an intentional destruction of both military aircraft. Bellew’s intentions and details of the crash sequence are still on the table for proper verification as closed military social media groups have begun to roll with various speculations.

No further information on the crash has been released to protect the integrity of the criminal investigation.

“At this point, we cannot address the manner of the damage to the two aircraft, timeline of events, or the response from the tower and emergency services, as those details are still considered part of the active investigation,” Elder remarked.

Meanwhile, tributes to the well-decorated Army Captain have poured in with Bellew’s brigade commander, Col. Eric Vanek describing him as a top officer of his unit and highlighting him as “one of the noblest professionals imaginable". Vanek went on to say how Bellew was constantly helping and saving the lives of others.

Representation Image Army Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot Military_Material/ Pixabay

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