Helicopter Crash Kills Air Force Sergeant from Clarence
By Mark Scott
Buffalo, NY – A Clarence resident was among six people killed when an Army helicopter crashed in northern Italy last week.
Staff Sergeant Mark Spence was aboard the Blackhawk helicopter along with 10 other Army and Air Force members. The 24-year-old Spence was an avionic sensors team leader. He entered the service in 2003.
The helicopter was on a training flight when it crashed Thursday after taking off from a U.S. Air Force base near Venice.
"We are devastated by this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the family members, squadron members and friends of those who lost their lives and those who are recovering from their injuries," said Brigadier General Craig Franklin, 31st Fighter Wing commander.
Spence and his wife, Elena, formerly of Tonawanda, lived in Aviano. They were expecting their first child in May.
Spence was a 2001 graduate of Clarence High School. He spent a year at the University at Buffalo before joining the Air Force in 2003.