Watch CBS News

3 killed in National Guard helicopter crash in Texas

3 killed in National Guard helicopter crash
3 killed in National Guard helicopter crash in Texas 00:23

Three people were killed when a U.S. National Guard helicopter crashed Friday on the Texas southern border, officials said.

A UH-72 Lakota helicopter crashed just before 4 p.m., local time, while on a support mission near Rio Grande City along the U.S-Mexico border, according to a statement from Joint Task Force North.

Two soldiers and one U.S. Border Patrol agent were killed and another soldier was injured. New York State Trooper John M. Grassia III, 30, was killed on Friday in a helicopter crash while flying over the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas while serving with the National Guard, the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association Board of Directors said in a statement on Saturday. 

"Trooper Grassia, who was dedicated to serving and protecting not only the citizens of New York State but also the citizens of the entire United States, will be remembered for his ultimate sacrifice," the statement said. Grassia joined the New York State Police in April 2022 and was most recently assigned to Troop G.

Casey Frankoski, a New York National Guard helicopter pilot died in Friday's crash while patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border, said Rensselaer, New York Mayor Michael Stammel in a statement.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Frankoski family as we collectively mourn the loss of a beloved city native and dedicated patriot," Stammel said. 

The cause is under investigation, JTF-North said. 

In a statement Saturday, President Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden "extend our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones, as well as their colleagues in the National Guard and U.S. Border Patrol. We pray for the injured Guardsman's swift recovery."

A National Guard spokesperson previously told CBS News that the helicopter went down in La Grulla, Texas, located about 40 miles west of the border city of McAllen.

— Camilo Montoya-Galvez contributed to this report. 

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correctly identify the helicopter as a UH-72 Lakota.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.