WBTV meteorologist Jason Myers and pilot Chip Tayag were both killed Tuesday when the helicopter they were in crashed near an interstate in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“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,” a statement from the CBS affiliate read.
Myers, a local who grew up watching WBTV as a child, earned his Bachelor of Science in meteorology at North Carolina State University. He previously worked at KRBC-TV in Abilene, Texas and WRIC-TV in Richmond, Virginia, and was most recently the Chief Meteorologist for ABC 36 in Lexington, Kentucky.
“Tragically there are two people who will not be going home and spending the holidays with their loved ones. I ask that we pray for the families,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings said in a press conference about the crash, which occurred near Interstate 77 at the Nations Ford Road exit.
In a tweet, he called Tayag a hero for diverting the helicopter away from the interstate. “Because of his heroic acts, there were no further injuries or vehicles on the highway involved in this incident,” Jennings said.
Tayag, who came to WBTV in 2017, had been a pilot for more than 20 years and was was considered one of the best in the business.
“We always said that if we could duplicate Chip and his piloting skills, his organization abilities, and attention to detail, our company would be better off. He always cared about the job he was doing and strived to make all his passengers comfortable while covering the news in Charlotte,” the Total Traffic and Weather Network said in a statement.
Both the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, WBTV reports. Jennings said the CMPD, along with Charlotte Fire, will be assisting with the scene.