SAN JOSE — A police helicopter on a maintenance flight crashed in the middle of a city street Monday, killing both people on board.
The pilot had not indicated any problems before the 3:45 p.m. crash, said San Jose police spokesman Rubens Dalaison.
The first word of trouble came from 911 calls phoned in by people near the crash site, about 2 miles west of San Jose's airport and three blocks from Interstate 880.
Killed were the pilot, who was a San Jose police officer, and a mechanic who worked for a maintenance company, Aris Helicopters Ltd., Dalaison said. He did not release their names.
Patricia Martinez, a receptionist at Alliance for Community Care, said she heard the troubled helicopter and raced outside in time to see the chopper heading for the street in a nose dive. Smoke appeared to be coming from the rear of the craft, she said.
"It looked like he was trying to avoid buildings," Martinez said. People on the street dashed out of the way, she said.
No one on the ground was hurt, but the driver of a pickup apparently made a narrow escape, she said.