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Michael Justice and Christopher Todd Reed, 41, killed in helicopter crash in LA Harbor near San Pedro, California
The possible crash outside the San Pedro breakwater of the harbor was reported at about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday by several passengers aboard an outbound cruise ship, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrea Anderson said.
"They noticed a small black helicopter approaching the water in what they said was a crash position," she said. "It was very close to the water."
Although they had not been officially identified, the bodies were believed to be those of a pilot, Christopher Reed, and a photographer, Michael Justice, who was on an assignment for the port, authorities said.
Both men were described as experienced and accomplished. Justice had traveled the world on photographic assignments, with subjects that included Mother Teresa.
Authorities have not positively identified the victims, described by the coroner's office as men in their 40s. However, one of them was believed to be Michael Justice, a former news photographer who was on assignment for the Port of Los Angeles.
Photographer Michael Justice, 61, was confirmed as the passenger killed in the crash, according to the coroner’s office.
The helicopter was piloted by Christopher Todd Reed, 41, of Hermosa Beach, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.