Fundraiser set for family of sailor killed in chopper crash

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Friends of a local Navy sailor killed in a helicopter crash in the Red Sea are asking the community to come together Wednesday and support his family.

Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Gibson was in a Knighthawk helicopter when it crashed trying to land on the U.S.S. William P. Lawrence, a destroyer.  It’s believed a large wave caused the ship’s deck to pitch up, hitting the helicopter which went into the water.

T130907-N-KE148-412he 32-year-old Gibson and 35-year-old Lt. Cmdr. Landon Jones of Lompoc died in the crash.

The sailors were with a squadron based out of North Island in Coronado.  They were in the Red Sea, on standby, when a military strike on Syria appeared imminent.

Friends are now trying to help Gibson’s widow and two young children with a fundraiser on Wednesday at Islands restaurant in Chula Vista.

“There’s two little kids that…their dad’s not coming home.  It’s a horrible…it gives me a pit in my stomach,” said Janel Anderson, the organizer for the fundraiser.

News of the crash hit home in the Eastlake community where many military families live and are now coming together to help a family that’s lost a husband and father.

“Just to show, say ‘thank you’ for the service he was giving the country and the sacrifice the family made for our country,” said Jacqueline McWilliams, a Navy wife and Gibson family friend.

The fundraiser will run from 4 p.m. to close at the Islands on 2255 Otay Lakes Road with 20 percent of sales will go to a memorial fund set up for the Gibson family.