Police Officer Nicholas Vella

Police Officer Nicholas Vella

Huntington Beach Police Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, February 19, 2022

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Nicholas Vella

Police Officer Nicholas Vella was killed in a police helicopter crash at about 6:30 pm.

He and another officer were responding to provide aerial support to the Newport Beach Police Department at the scene of a fight call. The helicopter lost altitude and crashed into Newport Bay, near 18th Street. Officer Vella and his partner were both pulled from the helicopter and transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Officer Vella had served with the Huntington Beach Police Department for 14 years and had previously served with the Laguna Beach Police Department for two years. He is survived by his wife and daughter.


  • Age 44
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge 2120

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

helicopter crash, fight call

Most Recent Reflection

View all 89 Reflections

Nick Vella was a helicopter pilot who served for 14 years with the Huntington Beach Police department. He loved his family and was a kind and loyal colleague and friend.

However, he lost his life in a tragic helicopter crash. He was performing his duty with honor and courage. He flew his helicopter with precision and skill, providing aerial support and assistance to his fellow officers.

We will always remember and honor him for his service and sacrifice. He will always be in our hearts and prayers. He will always be our guardian angel.

Civilian Lynda Prince Rudesill
Huntington Beach Police Department

May 18, 2023

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