LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — The Clark County Coroner’s office on Tuesday identified the pilot killed when a military jet crashed in a residential neighborhood near Nellis Air Force Base on Monday.
According to the coroner’s office, the pilot was identified as Nicholas Hunter Hamilton, 43, of Las Vegas.
In a tweet, Clark County said, “”Our thoughts & prayers are with Mr. Hamilton’s family & friends at this difficult time.”
Original story continues below.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — The sole occupant of a military jet died when the aircraft crashed in a residential neighborhood near Nellis Air Force Base on Monday.
The crash was reported at 2245 N. Christy Lane, near Judson Avenue, about 2:30 p.m. on May 24. The scene of the crash is south of Nellis Air Force Base.
Nellis officials said a “contractor-operated aircraft that took off from Nellis Air Force Base crashed at approximately … outside the southern edge of the base.”
“All we saw was the smoke and then the fire engines coming by,” said Brittany Guervara, who lives in the neighborhood. “We started seeing a helicopter from Nellis that was on the flight line earlier It came out and started circling the smoke, and at that point some guy came over and said he saw a fighter jet landing, and we kind of knew right then it was a fighter jet crash.”
Guervara said she saw a “big” explosion. “I wasn’t really sure what it was, I thought maybe a house caught on fire or something. Then I got a call from my dad hearing that it was a fighter jet that went down.”
NTSB confirmed the aircraft was a Dassault Aviation Mirage F-1.
Nellis public affairs representatives said the aircraft that crashed is owned, operated and piloted by Draken US, a Florida-based company contracted to the base. The company confirmed the pilot died in the crash:
“Draken has received news of a downed aircraft out of Nellis AFB and the tragic loss of one of our pilots. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people and families affected by this event. We are doing everything in our power to assist them in this time of need, and we are working closely with federal, state and local authorities. Draken US is also cooperating with investigating agencies to determine what led to this tragic accident.”
Nellis officials offered their condolences to the friends and family of the Draken wingman, who has not yet been publicly identified. No other personnel were on board.
“Draken is working closely with Federal, State, and Local authorities as well as cooperating with investigative agencies such as NTSB to determine what led to this tragic accident,” a Draken representative said in a statement Tuesday.
Witnesses reported heavy smoke in the area following the crash.
“We heard the jet. It was really loud and it just stopped. Classes outside saw it,” said a school clerk with Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.
Parents were notified the school was ordered to temporarily shelter in place.
Another woman who lives in the neighborhood, Rhonda Barnes, said she started praying when she saw the aircraft coming down into the neighborhood.
Both Barnes and Guervara said the electricity went out in the neighborhood for roughly 30 seconds at the time of the crash.
“As the plane went down, he went down behind a house, where the [power lines] were. That’s where we heard the big boom. The fumes went up in the air like fire, and I began to pray if it was a family or a house he hit,” said Barnes.
Barnes said the proximity of the site to the elementary school is concerning.
“In the morning, the jets fly, and they get lower and lower and lower,” said Barnes. “I think it’s kind of dangerous. We have this school with these kids, and at the time, they were out there playing.”
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