Funeral Monday for Mercy Flight pilot James Sauer

CHURCHVILLE, NY (WIVB) – Family, friends and first responders will gather in Monroe County on Monday to pay their respects to Mercy Flight pilot James Sauer.

Sauer, of Churchville, died during a deadly training exercise, when the Mercy Flight helicopter in which he and pilot Bell Stewart Dietrick of Prosper, Texas were traveling, crashed in the county of Genesis.

The Churchville man was a retired New York State Police pilot who also served as a Rochester police officer from 1993 to 2001. Sauer spoke to News 8 in 2020, when he celebrated the end of his 40-year military career.

The helicopter, Bell 429, crashed after taking off from Genesee County Airport in Batavia, about three miles from the crash site.

According to New York State Police Maj. Eugene Staniszewski, the helicopter crashed into power lines while falling, and weather conditions are not believed to have been a factor in the crash.

Three days after the incident, the Nation Transportation Safety Board said the next steps in the investigation will focus on determining the cause of the accident.

Officials believe that the conclusion of this investigation will not be announced for months.

Sauer’s family has asked that the route from the Thomas E. Burger Funeral Home to the Open Door Baptist Church be made public for those who want to line up the roads, Mercy Flight said in a statement. Facebook post.

Here is the route:

  • Approximately 11:45 a.m. leave Thomas E. Burger Funeral Home, 735 East Avenue, Hilton, NY
  • Take East Avenue into Hilton Village – left onto Route 259
  • Route 259 (15 miles) – left on Bowen Road
  • (.7 miles) turn right onto Stottle Road
  • (450 feet) Turn left onto Stryker Road
  • (.7 miles) Turn left on Scottsville-Chili Road to Open Door Baptist Church

For more information, click here.

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