Missouri S&T graduate among dead in US Marine helicopter crash
WICHITA, Kansas (AP) - A Wichita native is among those killed when a U.S. Marine helicopter crashed during a relief mission in earthquake-hit Nepal.
Officials formally identified the victims Sunday. Capt. Chris Norgren, who was the pilot, was among them.
Missouri University of Science and Technology said in a news release Norgren was a 2007 graduate of the school.
"Our prayers and thoughts are with Chris's family and loved ones at this time, as well as with the families and loved ones of every helicopter crew member," Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader, chancellor of Missouri S&T, said in a news release. "As a student-athlete and a member of two student design teams, he was committed to working with others to find the best possible solution to any situation - whether on the playing field or in the lab. It is no surprise to us that he was working in service to others at the time of the crash."
He earned a bachelor of science degrees in aerospace engineering and applied mathematics. Norgren was also a defensive end for the Miners and a member of the Advanced Aero Vehicle Group, the M-SAT (Missouri satellite) team and the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
"Chris was a first-rate young man," said Dr. Henry Pernicka, associate professor of aerospace engineering and an advisor to the university's M-SAT team. Pernicka described him as a "nearly straight-A" student.
"He took four courses from me and was on my satellite research team, and he performed highly in all of these," Pernicka said.
Six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers lost their lives in the crash. A statement from the U.S. military joint task force in Okinawa identified the Marines killed.
The UH-1 "Huey" helicopter went missing Tuesday while delivering rice and tarps. The wreckage was found Friday following days of searching. The cause of the crash has not been determined.
Bishop Carroll High School president Leticia Nielsen said Marine officials visited his parents, Ron and Terri Norgren, on Saturday and confirmed their son was killed. Ron Norgren said earlier his son loved flying and loved helping people.