Officer killed in helicopter crash has ties to Johnstown

New York News

MENDON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — One of the National Guard soldiers who was killed in a helicopter crash in Monroe County on Wednesday has ties to the city of Johnstown.

One of the victims was Chief Warrant Officer 5 Steven Skoda, 54, of Rochester. His mother, Barbara Skoda, is an advisory board member for the Johnstown School District Museum. She gave a brief statement Friday over the phone.

We’re mourning the loss of our son and brother and uncle and best friend. We extend our sincerest condolences to the families of the other two officers effected by this crash. And our thoughts and prayers go out with them, too. And the things that are already in the press is just as much as we can handle, so that’s all I have to say to you. I’m sorry.

The other two victims of the crash were 39-year-old Christian Koch, of Honeoye Falls, and 30-year-old Daniel Prial, of Rochester.

Skoda was a 35-year veteran of the Army and the New York Army National Guard. He served in the Active Army from 1985 to 1987. He joined the National Guard 1987.

Koch was a 20-year veteran of the New York Army National Guard. He initially served as an infantryman in A Company of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry.

Prial had served in the Army since 2012 after earning a commission at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

According to the New York Army National Guard, the UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter was on a routine training mission Wednesday evening when it crashed in a farmer’s field along West Bloomfield Road near Cheese Factory Road. The road has been closed since the crash.

U.S. Army Aviation investigators were scheduled to arrive in the town of Mendon on Friday to investigate the crash.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered flags across New York be lowered at half-staff in the three men’s honor.

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