Warwick native Daniel Prial among the three National Guardsmen killed in upstate helicopter accident

| 22 Jan 2021 | 02:59

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Prial, 30, a Warwick native and U.S. Military Academy at West Point graduate, died Wednesday when the military helicopter he was in crashed near Mendon in upstate New York.

The New York Army National Guard UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter crashed while on a routine training mission just after 6:30 p.m. The helicopter, also known as a medical Black Hawk, was based at the Army Aviation Support Facility at the Greater Rochester International Airport. The unit trains to perform medical evacuations and the crew was conducting night vision goggle proficiency training in the area.

National Guard soldiers Chief Warrant Officer 5 Steven Skoda and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian Koch were also killed in the crash.

“Today, the National Guard identified those members who were tragically killed in Wednesday’s crash,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “The release of Chief Warrant Officer Prial’s name brings this tragedy home to Orange County. Members of the military put their lives on the line every day and this accident underscores the dangers and risks that they face. I’m saddened by Daniel’s death and my thoughts and prayers are with his family; we are all appreciative of his and their sacrifice.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also issued a statement:

“I am devastated by the news tonight of a New York Army National Guard helicopter crash in the Town of Mendon that killed three of New York’s bravest during a training mission. National Guard members are our citizen soldiers who voluntarily serve and protect both here and abroad, and I extend prayers and condolences from all New Yorkers to the family, loved ones and fellow soldiers of these honorable heroes who we will never forget.”

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer added his voice as well:

“I am heartbroken by the news that three of New York’s brave Army National Guardsmen have been killed in a helicopter crash during a training mission. These National Guard members answered the call to help and serve their fellow New Yorkers and their country, and their sacrifices will never be forgotten. I send my deepest condolences to the loved ones of those soldiers killed, and the entire Monroe County community.”