California IN BRIEF : TUSTIN : Marine Copter Crash Victim Identified
A Tustin-based Marine Corps staff sergeant killed Saturday in a helicopter crash about 15 miles southeast of the Salton Sea during a routine training mission was identified as James R. Andrews, 31, of Los Angeles, a veteran crew chief who had received numerous decorations. Andrews was killed when the CH-53D Sea Stallion crashed in a remote part of the rugged Imperial County desert, Marine Master Sgt. Steve Merrill said. Andrews, an expert trouble-shooter for the bulky, two-engine troop carrier, was not part of the helicopter’s five-man crew, but was riding as a passenger, Merrill said. Initially, the Marine Corps had reported that the five crew members were injured in the crash that destroyed the helicopter. But Merrill said that after hospital examination, crew members were found to be shaken, but unhurt.