Survival an 'Absolute Miracle' After Medical Chopper Crashes

4 people, including infant patient, escaped crash in suburban Philadelphia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 11, 2022 1:51 PM CST
Survival an 'Absolute Miracle' After Medical Chopper Crashes
This still image from WPVI-TV/6ABC shows a helicopter that crashed in Upper Darby, Pa,, Tuesday Jan. 11, 2022.   (WPVI-TV/6ABC via AP)

A medical helicopter crashed Tuesday in a residential area of suburban Philadelphia with four people on board, including an infant—and are all expected to survive, authorities say. Rescue crews rushed to the crash near a church at an intersection in Upper Darby’s Drexel Hill neighborhood at about 1pm and helped pull the pilot, two crew members, and an infant patient from the aircraft, Upper Darby police Superintendent Timothy M. Bernhardt said at a press conference, per the AP.

None of them sustained life-threatening injuries, Bernhardt said, adding he can't wait to shake the pilot's hand for getting the helicopter down the way they did. The infant patient has been taken to a hospital, but family members haven’t been notified yet, Bernhardt said. The flight originated out of state. Photos and video from the scene show the helicopter damaged and on its side, just outside the church and underneath power lines. "It's a miracle, it’s an absolute miracle, here what you see behind me," Bernhardt said.

Jarrell Saunders, 28, works at an apartment building nearby doing maintenance. He says he saw the helicopter "just floating, like real low, like extremely low, like it could land on the building that I work at.” He got in his car to go to the hardware store and the helicopter was going in the same direction. He says he saw it hit the ground in the middle of the road and slide across the ground until it crashed into the church. It turned on its side and as smoke was coming out, he saw people jumping out of the helicopter. "I’m telling my grandkids about this one," he says. (More helicopter stories.)

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