Chesterfield, Missouri – Highway Patrol Helicopter Crash

Bell 206B JetRanger Helicopter Crash-Chesterfield, Missouri

The pilot of a Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter, Sgt. Joe Schuengel died in a crash in a residential subdivision in the Clarkson Valley area.  No one on the ground was injured. Sgt. Joe Schuengel was a 17 year veteran of the highway patrol. The Bell 206B helicopter only carried Sgt. Schuengel, who was killed on impact. The Bell 206B was assigned to traffic enforcement.

The Bell 206B helicopter came down on a street and did not hit any homes. The Bell 206 helicopter was working speeding enforcement above Interstate 55 in Jefferson County. Two other highway patrol troopers were in the helicopter for that duty, however Sgt. Schuengel had already dropped them off and he was returning to Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield when the Bell 206 helicopter crashed.

The copter crashed along Horseshoe Ridge Road, of Kehrs Mill Road in an unincorporated St. Louis County between Chesterfield and Ballwin. The subdivision is the Kehrs Mill Trail subdivision, consisting of 102 homes that each sit on two acres or more.

At the crash site, witnesses saw the wreckage, which was strewn with glass and papers.  The Bell 206 Helicopter was smoking and spilling gas and oil.

Several Ameren Missouri workers who were also in the area said that when they got to the crash site, they found the helicopter’s rotor had detached from the flattened wreckage. The rotor ended up in someone’s yard.

The patrol’s aircraft division had five helicopters, some of which are used in conjunction with the Defense Department for marijuana eradication, while others, like the Bell 206 Sgt. Schuengel was flying, are used for traffic enforcement and searches by air.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Bell 206B JetRanger helicopter was manufactured in 1981. The Bell 206B helicopter was Troop C’s only helicopter. Sgt. Schuengel assisted in searches for missing children in the area and often appeared at community events as a representative of the highway patrol.  St. Schuengel is the 29th member of the Missouri Highway Patrol to die in the line of duty.


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