HFD firefighter shares the special bond he has with HPD pilot involved in fatal helicopter crash

Pilot and firefighter have special bond

HOUSTON – Hundreds lined the streets of Houston Monday for a procession in honor of Houston police officer, Jason Knox, who was killed in a helicopter crash Saturday morning.

Knox, 35, died Saturday when the helicopter he and Officer Chase Cormier were in, crashed at an apartment complex on the city’s northside. The pair, officials said, were searching Greens Bayou for reports of bodies in the water when, as a witness described, their helicopter fell out of the sky.

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Fallen officer escorted

Knox’s body was escorted to Pat H. Foley & Company Funeral Home in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston’s northside Monday morning. The crowd of mourners included members of the Houston Police Department as well as those who did not personally know Knox but felt compelled to pay their respects.

“Look at all the people that are here. The flags. I think it’s a wonderful thing. And it’s such a sad time,” said Tina Rowe, who lives near the funeral home.

Pamela Valdes said she rushed to an area Dollar Store Monday morning to buy a flag. She clutched it in her hand as the caravan of flashing lights and the hearse carrying Knox’s body moved past her.

“It just seemed to be the right thing to do today for me,” Valdes said.

SKY 2 is following a law enforcement procession that is escorting the body of fallen HPD Officer Jason Knox through Houston this morning.

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Monday, May 4, 2020

A special bond between HFD firefighter and injured HPD officer

Those who know Cormier said his recovery will be fought to the fullest.

“I texted him and he actually texted me back. Said he was in pain but he wasn’t even concerned about himself. It was more so about Officer Knox’s family,” said David Cohen, a member of the Houston Fire Department and longtime friend.

The pair met at a crawfish boil over a decade ago and both share a love for flying and have flown together. Cohen said Cormier often gave him advice as their friendship blossomed.

“He’s just a great mentor. I look up to him,” Cohen said.

“Please keep up your prayers and support for the Knox family and for Chase Cormier who continues to recover inside the hospital,” said Joe Gamaldi, president of Houston Police Officer’s Union.

Gamaldi said Officer Cormier has been through one surgery and has a long road ahead of him. Still, his spirits remain high.

“He’s doing good. I think, certainly knowing Chase, being that he is a combat veteran and being that — I think the best thing for him is he just wants to get out. He wants to get out and recover as quickly as possible,” Gamaldi said.

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Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.