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Lt. Wesley Van Dorn, Of Greensboro, 1 Of 2 Killed In Navy Helicopter Crash

6:03 PM, Jan 9, 2014   |    comments
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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- One of the two crew members killed Wednesday in a Navy helicopter crash is from Greensboro.

WVEC-TV says the two crew members killed in the crash have been identified as Lt. Wesley Van Dorn - a pilot - and PO 3rd Class Brian Collins.

One of Van Dorn's family members confirmed to WFMY News 2 he is from Greensboro. He was 29 years old.

"My heart's feeling a loss," Rich Albright, Van Dorn's uncle, said. He told WFMY Wes was very gifted and loved the outdoors.

Guilford County Schools says Van Dorn was a 2002 alumnus of Southeast High School.

WFMY News 2's Chad Silber spoke to one of Van Dorn's high school friends who said everybody liked Wesley and he didn't have any problems with anyone.

Watch: Rich Albright Sings Song In Memory Of Wes Van Dorn

Five people were on the helicopter when it crashed Wednesday morning into the Atlantic Ocean. The two surviving crewmen are in the hospital. One of them is listed in serious condition and the other has been upgraded to fair condition. The Coast Guard says it has called of the search for the sailor missing in the Virginia helicopter crash.

Officials said a Navy helicopter rescued four of them from the water and transported them to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital. Van Dorn and Collins were later pronounced dead.

Officials say Virginia Beach Fire Department boats have located the aircraft fuselage and tail section using their side-scan radar.

"Two Navy helos on scene dropped a raft, recovered the four and took them to the hospital," Coast Guard Petty Officer John Miller said Wednesday.

Chris Kitschbaugh said he saw the four crewmembers taken off the military helicopter at Sentara Norfolk General.

"The doors went flying open," he said. "As soon as the helicopter touched down, the crewmembers called for people to come over with stretchers and get as much help as they could get."

Navy officials said the helicopter that crashed was a MH-53E Sea Dragon. Officials said the 87-foot patrol boat Shearwater out of Portsmouth, small boat from Station Little Creek and two MH-60S helicopters were responding. A Virginia Beach fireboat was assisting the military, officials said.

Meteorologist Evan Stewart said the water temperature was about 40 degrees and the air temperature about 30 degrees.

Sources: WVEC, Gannett, CBS News, WTKR

Note: Preliminary reports spelled Van Dorn's name as one word. This story has been updated with the correct spelling.

WFMY News 2

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