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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

2 Slightly Hurt in Police Helicopter Crash Near School

March 15, 2000

COMPTON — A Compton police helicopter crashed Tuesday night on the grounds of Compton High School, two blocks east of Compton Airport, but no one was seriously injured, authorities said.

Firefighters were called to the campus at 601 S. Acacia Ave. shortly after 7 p.m., a fire dispatcher said. The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries and were taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood.

The helicopter is shared by the Compton and South Gate police departments. It was on a routine patrol when it began to lose power, police said.

"They were able to maneuver it away from a residential area and attempted to land in an empty schoolyard," said Sgt. Russell Beecher of the South Gate Police Department.

The pilot, identified as Compton Police Officer Chris Pareles, and the passenger, South Gate Officer Rob Pellerin, both suffered cuts and bruises, Beecher said. They were expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday night.

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