"Let's find him": Helicopter pilot remembers O.J. Simpson chase

The death of O.J. Simpson has people across the U.S. remembering his football career, acting appearances, and, perhaps more than anything else, the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and her boyfriend. While there were several memorable moments during Simpson's arrest and trial, it's the low-speed chase that's burned in many people's memories.

That's definitely the case for Hanna Zoey Tur, the helicopter pilot who was overhead as the white Ford Bronco rolled across Los Angeles.

"It was one of the strangest things I've ever covered. And I've covered some of the biggest stories ever on live television," she told FOX Television Stations last year.

O.J. Simpson becomes a fugitive

FILE - O. J. Simpson sits in Superior Court in Los Angeles on Dec. 8, 1994 during an open court session in the double murder case. (Photo credit: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

File: O. J. Simpson sits in Superior Court in Los Angeles on Dec. 8, 1994 during an open court session in the double murder case. (Photo credit: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Zoey Tur recalled June 17, 1994, when she and millions of others in Southern California learned that Simpson had failed to surrender to police on two counts of murder for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Later that afternoon, Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti held a news conference reaffirming the unbelievable.

"As of this time, approximately 3 p.m., nobody knows where he is," Garcetti told the press. That’s when the former football legend became a wanted man and was on the run.

"He was a fugitive. I turned to my crew and I said, let's get in the helicopter. Let's find him," Zoey Tur shared.

The low-speed chase

The helicopter pilot, who has been flying planes since 1976 and is a commercial pilot, was in the air that day for more than five hours. The coverage led to one of the most-watched moments in U.S. history.


File: Motorists stop and wave as police cars pursue the Ford Bronco (white, R) driven by Al Cowlings, carrying fugitive murder suspect O.J. Simpson, on a 90-minute slow-speed car chase June 17, 1994 on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, California. (Pho

"I looked down below us, and there on the freeway, there was a white Bronco. And within a matter of seconds, there was a police unit, a sheriff's unit, another sheriff's unit, highway patrol, and the white Bronco wasn't stopping," she revealed. "We were on the air live ahead of anyone else for about 22 minutes." 

The award-winning pilot is credited with shooting and reporting the very first live police pursuit in Los Angeles and was the first helicopter pilot to find Simpson and televise the infamous chase. 

"I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, because O.J. was a larger-than-life character," Zoey Tur said, adding, "He was a beloved member of Los Angeles, he was a Heisman Trophy [winner], he was a sports legend, he was a movie star. He golfed with presidents, and now, just like another criminal, running from the law, there was O.J. Simpson."

After a long low-speed pursuit lasting several hours, the white Bronco arrived at Simpson's Brentwood home. 

RELATED: FOX 11 Archives: O.J. Chase Sets Slow Speed Record

"People in pursuits tend to go back to areas where they're comfortable," Zoey Tur explained. "I've covered hundreds of police pursuits, so that seems to be a constant." 

By the end of this pursuit, she revealed that there were 22 helicopters flying in the air, comparing it to something out of the movie, "Apocalypse Now." 

As police negotiated to get Simpson out of the car, a gathering crowd added to the mayhem.

Simpson finally surrendered, ending one of the most "surreal" moments in television history, according to Zoey Tur.

"It was one of the strangest things I've ever seen in my life," she added.