On the evening of Saturday, February 19, 2022, the Huntington Beach Police Department helicopter, HB-1, was responding to a priority call when it crashed into the waters off Newport Beach with two officers on board. Both officers were pulled from the helicopter by civilians and emergency responders and transported to local area hospitals. The crash resulted in the injury of one officer and the death of Officer Nicholas Vella.
A 14-year veteran of the Huntington Beach Police Department, 44-year old Nicholas Vella, is remembered by all who knew him as a selfless and driven police officer and man. Prior to joining the Huntington Beach Police Department in 2008, he was a well-loved and well-respected officer with the Laguna Beach Police Department. In his free time, Nick supported various non-profit organizations and community groups, such as Operation Surf, Baker to Vegas, Adaptive Freedom Foundation, and Huntington Beach Police Officers’ Foundation. Officer Vella had a tremendous impact on not only Huntington Beach, but throughout Southern California. This tragic loss has been felt far and wide.
Officer Vella leaves behind his wife and teenage daughter who are mourning this unspeakable loss. The Huntington Beach Police Officers Association and Huntington Beach Police Department are working together to aid and support Nick’s family. We ask for your continued thoughts and prayers as Nick’s family mourns the loss of a father, husband, son, and brother.
If you wish to support the family further, we are asking for monetary donations on their behalf to alleviate their financial strain. The family is going through a life-altering and catastrophic loss, any monetary support you can provide to ease their concerns relating to ongoing costs would be greatly appreciated.