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2 police officers killed in helicopter crash in Tennessee

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odmp.org
Marion County Sheriff's Detective Matt Blansett (left) and THP Trooper Lee Russell

WHITESIDE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials say two Tennessee law enforcement officers died when a helicopter crashed in a wooded area after hitting a power line.

Highway Patrol Capt. Travis Plotzer said a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer and a Marion County deputy sheriff were killed in the crash on Aetna Mountain, near Whiteside, Tennessee.

Officials say the power lines fell across Interstate 24.

Motorist Dan Hostetler said he saw the black helicopter flying in circles before hitting the power lines in a bright flash of light and puff of smoke. He says he slammed on his brakes just in time to avoid hitting the electrical cables.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
Mike Osborne is the News Director for WMOT and can be heard on-air daily.