Officer Killed, 1 Injured in Helicopter Collision near Balboa Island

NEWPORT BEACH, CA (February 23, 2022)Nicholas Vella was killed Saturday evening, in a helicopter crash on El Paseo Street.

The incident happened just after 6:30 p.m., at El Paseo Street near Balboa Island.

A witness from the scene said that several civilian boats rushed into the wreckage to assist the officers trapped onboard the aircraft. Eventually, the first responders arrived and transported both injured officers at the scene to nearby trauma centers.

During the press conference held on Saturday evening, officials declared 44-year-old Vella, deceased.

Meanwhile, the other officer, a 16-year-old veteran, remains in a stable condition. Although, authorities have not yet released their identity.

At this time, Newport Beach officials continued to investigate the helicopter crash.


No words can mend the broken hearts and sorrow felt during this delicate moment. The team at Sweet James offers their deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Nicholas Vella.


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LA Weekly