Soldier from New Jersey among 9 victims killed in Army helicopter training crash

WABC logo
Saturday, April 1, 2023
Soldier from NJ among 9 victims killed in Army helicopter crash
EMBED <>More Videos

Sgt. David Solinas Jr, 23, from Oradell, New Jersey was identified as one of the nine victims killed in the Kentucky helicopter crash.

FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky -- One of the victims killed in the Army helicopter crash in Kentucky on Wednesday was from New Jersey.

Nine people were killed in the crash involving two Army Black Hawk helicopters conducting a nighttime training exercise in Fort Campbell.

The U.S. Army identified all of the victims on Friday afternoon.

Sgt. David Solinas Jr, 23, was from Oradell, New Jersey.

"This is a time of great sadness for the 101st Airborne Division. The loss of these Soldiers will reverberate through our formations for years to come," said Maj. Gen. JP McGee, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell. "Now is the time for grieving and healing. The whole division and this community stand behind the families and friends of our fallen Soldiers."

The other victims were also identified:

-Warrant Officer 1 Jeffery Barnes, 33, of Milton, Florida

-Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, 23, of Austin, Texas

-Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, 36, of Jackson, Missouri

-Sgt. Isaacjohn Gayo, 27, of Los Angeles, California

-Staff Sgt. Joshua C. Gore, 25, of Morehead City, North Carolina

-Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy, 32, of Cape Coral, Florida

-Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, 30, of Mountain Brook, Alabama

-Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32, of Rolla, Missouri

Last month, two Tennessee National Guard pilots were killed when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed along an Alabama highway during a training exercise.

The Black Hawk helicopter is a critical work horse for the U.S. Army, providing key security, transport, medical evacuations, search and rescue and other missions. It was a frequent sight in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan during the wars conducting combat missions and is also used by the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Black Hawks were also often used to ferry visiting senior leaders to headquarters locations in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)