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US helicopter pilot who was victim of Cley tragedy has road in home town renamed in his honour

11:51 05 July 2014

Captain Sean Ruane

Captain Sean Ruane

A US Air Force pilot who died in the Cley helicopter crash has had a street in his hometown named after him in his honour.

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Captain Sean Ruane, 31, was at the controls of the US Pave Hawk aircraft when it went down on the North Norfolk coast on January 7.

Three other US airmen from RAF Lakenheath - Capt Christopher Stover, Tech Sgt Dale Mathews and Tech Sgt Afton Ponce - also died in the incident.

A stretch of state Route 51, near Capt Ruane’s home town of Kennedy Township, Pittsburgh, will now be renamed the Captain Sean M. Ruane Memorial Highway.

“A good kid, a good son and a wonderful brother” - tributes to Captain Sean Ruane

His family told local news in Pittsburgh they were “honoured”.

Michael Ruane, Capt Ruane’s father, said: “We’re honoured by any measures they take to honour our son.”

Senator Wayne Fontana, who serves Capt Ruane’s home town, introduced the legislation in mid-May to change the name of the road, which is currently known as Fleming Park Road.

A bill to approve the naming was passed on Monday.

Mr Fontana said he met Capt Ruane’s family at a memorial for him in May.

“They were very, very grateful that we even proposed [the renaming]. Back then, it was just a proposal,” he said.

“But it’s ironic that he spent so much time in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and unfortunately died in a helicopter accident.”

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