Memorial created at site of fatal helicopter crash - New York News

Memorial created at site of fatal helicopter crash

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Howard Griffin visited the site where his friend, Atlanta Police Officer Shawn Smiley, was killed in a helicopter crash. Howard Griffin visited the site where his friend, Atlanta Police Officer Shawn Smiley, was killed in a helicopter crash.
ATLANTA -

Mourners have created a memorial at the site where two Atlanta police officers were killed in a helicopter crash.

Atlanta Police Officers Richard J. Halford and Sean Smiley were killed when a police helicopter crashed near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Hamilton E. Holmes Drive.

Well-wishers have left flowers, cards and other items at the site.

Howard Griffin said he was stunned by the revelation that one of the officers on board was his friend and former military pilot, Shawn Smiley. Griffin said that his friend wanted to continue using his skills as a pilot to serve others and flying a police chopper gave him that opportunity.

"One of the sayings that he would use is, ‘Don't just be a pilot that holds certificates. Be a professional pilot.' Which takes it to the next level of knowing your job, doing your job, doing whatever it takes, get there early, leave late," said Griffin.

Vollie Ragland said that her kids met Smiley at Halloween last year.

"I want to say I'm sorry to the family and I hope that, you know, they pull through this, you know, because death is no option and you never know," said Ragland.

Ruthie Hubbard said that she went to the site when she couldn't get Halford on the phone. Her worst fears were confirmed when she found out what happened.

People at the site said that they wanted to find a way to express the grief they feel, and felt that the crash site was the place to do that.

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