Author Topic: 5 deputies hurt in LASD helicopter crash near San Gabriel Reservoir  (Read 1825 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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Thank the Lord all ok, injured but still with us !!

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department aircraft crashed in Angeles Crest near the San Gabriel Reservoir and five deputies were injured, according to officials.

The crash occurred near East Fork Road and State Route 39 shortly before 5 p.m., according to an alert from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Supervisor Ornelas.

Of the five deputies who were hurt, one was critically injured, two suffered moderate injuries and two suffered minor injuries, Ornelas said, All five were taken to a local trauma center.

In a press conference, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the helicopter was assisting the Fire Department with transporting a patient from a vehicle rollover when “the helicopter suffered some malfunction of some sort.”

“We don’t know if it was mechanical, environmental, what they call a brownout, a wind change, but as they were trying to descend … they suffered a hard landing and a rollover,” Villanueva said.

Deputy Rob Gracia, a pilot with the LASD, clarified that the helicopter crew had not yet picked up the patient from the rollover when the crash occurred.“They were actually making the landing to load the patient up [when the helicopter crashed],” Gracia said.

Villanueva also revealed that there was a sixth person on board in addition to the deputies: a doctor from UCLA who was riding along with the crew, though the doctor’s injuries was not detailed during the press conference. Dr. James Kim from the hospital said the patients are all in stable condition, and Villanueva said the “range of injuries” sustained by the helicopter’s occupants includes “fractures and broken ribs and things of that nature, but thankfully nothing that is life-threatening at this time.”

The lack of fatalities, in addition to the fact that the helicopter did not fall down hundreds of feet into the canyon below and that it did not catch fire was “nothing short of a miracle,” Villanueva said.

The LASD initially said the helicopter, LASD Air Rescue 5, might be carrying four people, though it was later confirmed that five deputies were involved in the crash and all were transported to the hospital.

The LASD crash comes exactly one month after another law-enforcement helicopter crashed in Orange County.

On Feb. 19, a Huntington Beach Police Department helicopter crashed in Newport Beach, killing Officer Nicholas Vella and injuring another pilot.