Chopper crash anniversary: Honoring our friends and colleagues

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PHOENIX -- Four years ago today, we at 3TV and our colleagues at KNXV lost four of our friends and co-workers.

The helicopters from both stations were covering breaking news when they collided in mid-air over Central Phoenix. The two choppers went down in Steele Indian School Park near Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center at Third Street and Indian School Road

Pilot Scott Bowerbank and photojournalist Jim Cox from 3TV and pilot Craig Smith and photojournalist Rick Krolak from ABC 15 were killed.

On the first anniversary of the crash, a memorial in the park was dedicated in the men's honor.

To celebrate the lives of Cox and his colleagues and make sure their legacy endures, the Cox family created The James Alan Cox Foundation for Student Photographers.

Founded in memory of Cox, the foundation's goal is to provide financial support to expand educational and developmental opportunities for photographers of high-school and college age.

In the past three years, The James Alan Cox Foundation has provided more than $13,500 in equipment and a total of $28,500 in scholarships to dozens of young photographers from all over the country.

“I promise to use this money to continue my education to the fullest, and finish my degree, always putting the highest standards and professional values first, leaving a legacy James would be proud of,” said 2010 scholarship recipient Sean Patrick Lewis. He was one of more than 200 applicants.

With the goal of teaching budding photographers real-life skills, the foundation is also underwriting its first 15-week internship program here at 3TV. That intern will join Arizona’s Family in the fall.

“We are comforted knowing that the art of photojournalism that Jim so loved will be carried forward,” said Alan G. Cox, Jim’s father and the foundation’s president, in the organization’s 2011 newsletter.

For more information or to make a contribution, visit