Six people are injured in an L.A. County helicopter rescue crash in Angeles National Forest

Saturday night saw the five L.A. County sheriff’s deputies and UCLA doctor aboard stabilized.

Six people are injured in an L.A. County helicopter rescue crash in Angeles National Forest

Officials said that a Los Angeles County rescue helicopter crashed into a road in the Angeles National Forest Saturday. It left six people injured.

Five of the five injured were deputies of varying ranks who were en route for a call, Deputy T. Koerner from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department stated. Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated Saturday night that a UCLA doctor who was riding along with him was also hurt.

After being taken by another helicopter, most of the passengers were captured in NBC Los Angeles footage attempting to walk to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. Broken ribs and fractured bones were among the injuries, according to the sheriff.

Dr. James Kim, the hospital's medical director said that all patients were stable.

The sheriff stated that Air Rescue 5 was listed by the department and other aircraft sites as an AS332 Super Puma. It is one of three helicopters used for rescue missions.

Crew was on their way to pick up a victim from a car crash. But then something happened. The pilot landed the helicopter in what Villanueva called a hard landing, rollover.

NBC Los Angeles broadcast footage of the mangled helicopter, with sheriff's markings on it and colors above Azusa.

Koerner reported that the crash on a turnout at the end of a dangerous downslope was reported at 4 :58 p.m. at Mile Marker 21.70 in an isolated section of the route that is part the Angeles National Forest.

Villanueva said that the crash site was only a few feet away from a 200-foot drop.

Rob Gracia, pilot and deputy said that the three rescue helicopters used by the department respond to more than 500 calls per year. He said that the loss of one helicopter could have an impact on the department's mission.

"We are short on crews, and personnel. This will make rescues a bit more difficult," Villanueva stated.

The AS332 Super Puma with its crew is known for performing daring rescues on twisty roads in L.A.'s mountains, which are frequented by motorcycle and car enthusiasts. NBC Los Angeles captured the helicopter's prowess landing on a narrow mountain road in 2018.

Villanueva believes that the crash was caused by an "environmental" or mechanical malfunction. Investigations are ongoing to determine the cause.


 

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