UPDATE: Parts of Hwy 53 will remain closed today; one of two Blackhawk helicopter crash victims identified
By Jonathon Stinson
HARVEST – The investigation and cleanup continues today after a Tennessee National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed Wednesday at about 3 p.m. while conducting a training flight near Alabama 53 and Burwell Road. The Madison County Sheriff’s Department responded to the crash site and reported two crew members onboard were killed, according to a statement from the Tennessee National Guard.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of two Tennessee National Guardsmen, and our prayers are with their families during this heartbreaking tragedy,” Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, Tennessee’s Adjutant General, said. “We ask Tennesseans to join us in supporting their families during this time of unthinkable grief.”
No other service members or civilians were harmed in this incident, the statement said. The Tennessee National Guard will support law enforcement and other first responders handling the crash site and provide more information as details become available.
Madison County Sheriff’s Office deputies believe crash debris could be scattered across areas near the crash site and ask that if anyone finds any wreckage to avoid touching or moving any debris and report findings to dispatch at 256-722-7181.
The Sheriff’s Office said this morning’s traffic commute will be heavily impacted on Alabama 53 between Jeff Road and Douglas Road and a stretch of highway between Research Park Boulevard and Jeff Road. These areas of travel will be closed to all northbound/southbound traffic today and likely throughout the evening.
The office recommends commuters traveling to Hazel Green to use Pulaski Pike or U.S. 231/431 as the optimal routes to get to Huntsville and Old Railroad Bed Road or Wall Triana from Alabama 53 to get to the Madison area.
Dover, TN councilman Alex Berta said in a Facebook post last night one of the soldiers killed was Daniel Wadham.