Sgt. Andrew Tingwall, a helicopter pilot for the New Mexico State Police, died of exposure and injuries sustained in a crash of his aircraft on June 9. Tingwall and another state police officer, Wesley Cox, were returning from a rescue mission for lost hiker Negumi Yamamoto, who also perished in the crash. Officer Cox walked out from the crash site the following day. When located, he was suffering from severe hypothermia, a back injury and a severely crushed right leg.
Tingwall’s last radio transmission was immediately after the crash, where it was believed the helicopter’s tail rotor came into contact with terrain. When asked if the crew and passenger were all right, Tingwall replied, “Not really.”
Tingwall is a 13-year veteran of the force. He was honored with an Officer of the Year award for his efforts during an August 2008 incident in Albuquerque in which he helped save a man from a floodedarroyo.