Vanderbilt professor identified in fatal West Virginia helicopter crash

Helicopter Crash West Virginia
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jun 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 17:08:30-04

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Medical examiners in West Virginia have released the names of six people killed in the crash of a Vietnam-era helicopter that gave tour rides.

The aircraft crashed Wednesday during its last planned flight at an annual reunion for helicopter enthusiasts in Logan County. All six people aboard were killed.

The state's chief medical examiner released the names of the victims on Saturday. They are: John Nagle, 53, of Austin, Texas; Donald Sandhoff, 69, of Durham, North Carolina; Kevin Warren, 51, of Franklin, Tennessee; Carolyn O’Connor, 73, of Winter Garden, Florida; and Marvin Bledsoe, 64, and Jack Collins, 65, both of Chapmanville, West Virginia.

Warren was a Research Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. He joined the engineering faculty at Vanderbilt in 2003, according to the university's website.

Rides on the Vietnam-era Bell UH-1B “Huey” helicopter were offered by the organizer of the reunion, MARPAT Aviation, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The flight crashed about 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) northeast of the Logan County Airport. Much of the wreckage was consumed in a fire that followed the crash, the agency said.

During the reunion event, visitors could sign up to ride or fly the historic helicopter, described by organizers as one of the last of its kind still flying.

The helicopter was flown by the 114th Assault Helicopter Company, “The Knights of the Sky,” in Vinh Long, Vietnam, throughout much of the 1960s, according to MARPAT. After the Huey returned to the U.S., it was featured in movies like “Die Hard, “The Rock” and “Under Siege: Dark Territory.”

A message was sent out by C. Cybele Raver, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to the Vanderbilt community.

Dear Vanderbilt community members,

I am writing to share the tragic news that one of our faculty, Kevin Warren, Research Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, passed away on Wednesday, June 22.

Kevin was a longtime member of the Vanderbilt community, having earned master’s degrees in chemistry and electrical engineering from the university as well as his doctorate in electrical engineering. Kevin began his employment with Vanderbilt as a Senior Research Engineer in 2003 and assumed his current faculty role in 2020.

Through his work in the Vanderbilt University Institute for Space and Defense Electronics, Kevin performed extensive research into the development and application of novel radiation effects related error rate prediction methods for microelectronics in terrestrial, atmospheric, and space environments.

This a devastating loss for the Vanderbilt community and all those who knew Kevin.

Anyone having difficulty processing this sad news can reach out to the resources below.


C. Cybele Raver
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs