SLED gets permission to replace crashed helicopter

State - Regional

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State agents in South Carolina have been given permission by a group of South Carolina lawmakers to buy a helicopter to replace one destroyed in a crash last month.

The State Law Enforcement Division asked for $2 million to buy a used helicopter similar to the two passenger chopper that crashed June 26 while taking off for a drug mission in Summerville.

SLED officials said in a letter to the Joint Bond Review Committee that only having two helicopters is hampering its mission to search for drugs, look for suspects and missing people and get specialized agents rapidly across South Carolina.

The committee approved the purchase Tuesday. It now goes to the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.

SLED says insurance should pay for most of the new chopper.

The pilot suffered minor injuries in the crash, which remains under investigation.

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