Border Patrol Agent among 3 Killed in Texas Helicopter Crash

March 11, 2024
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Christopher Luna was on board a UH-72 Lakota helicopter assigned to a border mission when the aircraft went down in a field near La Grulla.

Editor's note: The U.S. Border Patrol agent who died in Friday's helicopter crash was identified as Christopher Luna, The Associated Press reports  

The La Grulla helicopter crash on Friday afternoon killed two National Guard soldiers and a Border Patrol agent.

The aircraft was a UH-72 Lakota helicopter assigned to a border mission that crashed at approximately 3:50 p.m. Friday in a field near La Grulla, according to an initial release from Joint Task Force North.

"One soldier was injured," the release stated. "The names of the deceased will not be released until the next of kin have been notified."

Former congresswoman Mayra Flores and current congressional candidate posted on Facebook shortly after 5 p.m. Friday that the aircraft was a Border Patrol and CBP Air and Marine Operations helicopter.

CBP has not verified Flores' statement nor has it responded to requests for comment submitted Friday afternoon and evening.

Flores also posted a photo of a badly damaged helicopter in a field. The aircraft is mangled and appears flattened where it made impact in the field.

The Starr County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed Friday that the agencies responded to the scene.

Access to the crash site by local media was impossible and restricted by an estimate of a mile.

Gen. Daniel Hokanson, head of the National Guard, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, sent condolences to the families, loved ones, friends and colleagues of the soldiers and Border Patrol agent who died in the crash.

"They are a tragic loss beyond words," Hokanson wrote. "We pray for the speedy recovery of a third Guard Soldier who was seriously injured. All of these people represent selfless service & the best of America."

The crash remains under investigation, according to the Joint Task Force North press release.


(c)2024 The Monitor (McAllen, Texas)

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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