Coast Guard pilot charged in fatal Washington chopper crash

Associated PressOctober 21, 2011 

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- The only survivor of a Coast Guard helicopter crash that killed three others on the Washington coast has been charged with negligent homicide and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Lt. Lance Leone was one of two pilots flying the MH-60 Jayhawk from Astoria, Ore., to the crew's base in Sitka in July 2010 when it hit power lines off LaPush.

Coast Guard spokesman Kip Wadlow told the Peninsula Daily News Leone also was charged Sept. 30 with dereliction of duty and destruction of government property.

The charges will be reviewed during a Coast Guard Article 32 hearing in early December in Juneau, where Leone is stationed. He faces more than seven years in prison if convicted on all counts at a court-martial.

The Coast Guard's District 17 spokesman would not comment on what led to the charges.

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