On Saturday, February 19, 2022, Officer Vella and a second officer were responding to a call for service when their police chopper crashed off the coast of Newport Beach. Many agencies were dispatched to assist with the rescue effort, including members of the Sheriff’s Department. Despite heroic efforts, Officer Vella died as a result of his injuries. A second officer involved in the crash has been released from the hospital and faces a long road to recovery.
Officer Vella was 44 years old and a 14-year veteran of the Huntington Beach Police Department. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
AOCDS will be making a financial contribution from the AOCDS Memorial Fund to Officer Vella’s family during this tragic time. For anyone who would also like to contribute, you may donate to the AOCDS Memorial Fund by clicking HERE. IMPORTANT: In the section that reads: “Please indicate the recipient of your donation,” please choose, “In Memory of HBPD Officer Nicholas Vella.” AOCDS will give all donations directly to the Huntington Beach Police Officers Association to present to the Vella family.