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‘Heartbreaking Deaths’: Helicopter With National Guard And Border Patrol Onboard Crashes In Texas

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A helicopter carrying National Guard and Border Patrol personnel flying over the U.S. southern border crashed Friday, leaving three dead, according to a statement shared by National Guard General Daniel Hokanson.

The crash occurred mid-afternoon as the UH-72 Lakota helicopter was conducting “aviation operations” near Rio Grande, Texas, according to a statement. The helicopter was assigned to a federal government border security mission, and the cause is under investigation.

“The National Guard family, send our deepest condolences to the families, loved ones, friends & colleagues of the two Army National Guard Soldiers and the U.S. Border Patrol officer killed in today’s helicopter crash in Texas,” Hokanson said in a statement on Twitter.

One soldier onboard the helicopter survived the crash and was seriously injured, according to the statement.

“We mourn these heartbreaking deaths. They are a tragic loss beyond words. We pray for the speedy recovery of a third Guard Soldier who was seriously injured,” Hokanson said.

The Starr County Sheriff’s Office said it was assisting in a search related to a helicopter crash Friday, according to a Facebook post.

The helicopter was flying as a part of Operation Lone Star, which is Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s mission to secure the state’s border, according to The Associated Press.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has encountered over 750,000 illegal immigrants at the southern border in fiscal year 2024, according to federal data.

The National Guard did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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