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The three National Guardsmen who were killed in a firy helicopter crash in Mendon have been identified as Christian Koch, 39, of Honeoye Falls, Steven Skoda, and Daniel Prial, both of Rochester. They were conducting a night vision training session when their helicopter crashed in Mendon, near Cheese Factory Rd.
Koch was brought up in York, and in 2010 graduated from SUNT Brockport. He often went back to York Central School, bringing to enthusiastic children at the school, a Blackhawk helicopter similar to the one he was killed in. He was active in Veterans Day activities, and last brought a Blackhawk helicopter to the school in 2019/ Koch was a 20-year veteran of the New York Army National Guard. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq and won numerous award. Koch leaves behind a wife and four children.
Also killed in the accident was Steven Skoda, 54, of Rochester.He had served in Afghanistan for six years, and was given numerous awards during his career including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the NATO Medal among others. He was a 35 year veteran of the National Guard and the U.S. Army.
Daniel Prial, 30 of Rochester, also died in the crash. He also had served in Afghanistan and also had received numerous awards, including the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal and the Army Aviator Badge.B