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Highway Patrol Pilot Killed in Chopper Crash Identified

Highway Patrol Pilot Killed in Chopper Crash Identified

Aircraft from the Missouri Highway Patrol Aircraft Division (photo courtesy MHP)

St. Louis Post Dispatch via YellowBrix

October 15, 2010

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — The pilot of a Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter died in a crash in a residential subdivision in the Clarkson Valley area this morning.

No one on the ground was injured.

The pilot was Highway Patrol Sgt. Joe Schuengel, 47. He is a 17-year veteran of the patrol.

Capt. Tim Hull of the Highway Patrol’s headquarters in Jefferson City confirmed that the helicopter carried only Schuengel, who was killed on impact. Hull said the helicopter had been assigned to traffic enforcement.

“It’s never easy when one on our own officers is killed. It’s a tough situation,” Hull said.

Schuengel was interviewed by the Post-Dispatch in 2005, when a reporter attended a “Citizen’s Academy” at the highway patrol. He talked about the job and risk troopers face every day.

“When you get up in the morning and put on that uniform, you’ve got to be in the mind-set that you’re going to go home at night, " Schuengel said at the time. “You’re going to pull in the driveway, you’re going to see your family.”

Sgt. Al Nothum of the Highway Patrol said the copter came down on a street and did not hit any homes. He said the cause of the crash is unknown. FAA investigators are on their way to the scene to begin their probe, said FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory.

The helicopter dropped off several troopers in Jefferson County earlier and was returning to Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield when it crashed about 11 a.m., officials said.

The tower at Spirit airport lost the helicopter from radar, then called in the St. Louis County police helicopter to fly over the area and see what happened, said Spirit’s director, John Bales.

Bales said there were no distress calls prior to the crash.

“Not at all,” Bales said. “I’m assuming it was something catastrophic that happened and he (the pilot) did everything he could to land it in a safe place.”

The copter crashed in the 1800 block of Horseshoe Ridge Road, in unincorporated St. Louis County between Chesterfield and Ballwin. The area is near the Forest Hills Country Club.

The subdivision is the Kehrs Mill Trail subdivision, consisting of 102 homes that each sit on two acres or more. The subdivision is surrounded by a forest and includes three lakes.

Poncho Grajeda, 40, said he was working on a home in the area when he heard the helicopter’s engine making loud noises. He said he saw it struggling in the air, then come straight down.


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  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    almost 4 years ago

    16726 Comments

    RIP

  • Sfa_iv_max50

    revCCBeasley

    almost 4 years ago

    2944 Comments

    RIP

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Sheepdog1

    almost 4 years ago

    480 Comments

    RIP brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    RIP Brother

  • 33716_270_1__max50

    flieswitheagle

    almost 4 years ago

    22 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother

  • 21_max50

    philfroggy

    almost 4 years ago

    1564 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother

  • Dhs_max50

    WACollector

    almost 4 years ago

    764 Comments

    Rest In Peace, Brother.

  • Dolphins_fantasy_max50

    dolphinblue

    almost 4 years ago

    42984 Comments

    R.I.P.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    Rest in Peace Brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    captainbud

    almost 4 years ago

    420 Comments

    May you rest in peace, my brother. May God comfort and bless your family and friends.

  • 101_max50

    gman3858

    almost 4 years ago

    318 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MP247

    almost 4 years ago

    332 Comments

    Rest in Peace Sgt Schuengel

  • Image_max50

    LCSO_165

    almost 4 years ago

    338 Comments

    Rest in peace, brother ... prayers for the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the friends and loved ones of SGT Schuengel ...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    Rest in Peace, and God Bless!

  • Img00033-20091202-1845_1__max50

    smkedvr73

    almost 4 years ago

    124 Comments

    R.I.P.

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