Caller at PA helicopter crash site told 911 pilot wasn’t alert

Regional News

A crashed medical helicopter is removed from the scene in the Drexel Hill section of Upper Darby, Pa., on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Authorities and a witness say a pilot crash landed a medical helicopter without casualties in a residential area of suburban Philadelphia, miraculously avoiding a web of power lines and buildings as the aircraft fluttered, hit the street and slid into bushes outside a church. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (AP) — A man at the scene of a medical helicopter crash outside Philadelphia this week told a dispatcher he was most concerned about the infant girl who survived, but that the pilot was the only passenger not alert after the wreck, according to a 911 call excerpt released Thursday.

The unidentified caller described the pilot as a middle-aged man in the transcript released by Delaware County officials.

“He is breathing, he is talking,” he told the dispatcher. “My main concern right now is the 2-month-old child, I need an ambulance here right away.”

The dispatcher said help was already on the way.

The pilot somehow crash-landed the helicopter without loss of life next to a church in a residential area of suburban Philadelphia.

Brian Rayner, senior safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, told reporters Wednesday he was grateful that the occupants were relatively unhurt in the 1 p.m. Tuesday crash.

The pilot’s injuries were most severe, but the other two adults and the girl were “miraculously unhurt,” he said.

A spokesperson for Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania said no new information about the girl’s condition was available.

The Eurocopter EC135 medical helicopter was owned by Denver-based Air Methods, an air medical emergency transport service. The company said the aircraft it was part of the LifeNet program based in Hagerstown, Maryland.

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