BREAKING NEWS: Helicopter crashes near Quandary
July 2, 2009
SUMMIT COUNTY – Two unidentified people were injured in a helicopter crash Thursday southwest of Quandary Mountain at an elevation of about 13,000 feet.
One person was flown to St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver; members of Summit County Rescue group attended to the other, an identified man.
The Bell 260 with Aviation Technology Services, of Englewood, crashed at about 11:30 a.m. roughly 2.5 miles west of Upper Blue Dam. After the company lost communication with the helicopter, a second was deployed to find it.
The crash was reported at about 2:45 p.m. and the cause hasn’t been determined, according to Summit County emergency manager Joel Cochran.
The wreckage was found about 100 yards from an un-named reservoir at the side of Mount Fletcher in the Monte Cristo Creek drainage area – accessible only by helicopter or on foot.
“There’s no way to get along the sides of the reservoir to get an ATV along that,” Cochran said. “It’s just a boulder field.”
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He said a boat had been requested late Thursday afternoon to help extricate the injured man who remained on the scene. As of 6 p.m., the man’s condition was listed as “yellow” on a scale including “red” and “green.”
“(He’s) somwhere between walking wounded and critical,” Cochran said.
The crashed helicopter had been in the area to deliver supplies to a mine. Kurt Fishinger with Colorado Springs Utilities – which owns the water rights – said the wreckage is at an elevation of about 13,000 feet. A hazmat specialist with the Sheriff’s Office was on the scene, but Fishinger said there’s “minimal concern for contamination” of the water.
ATS provides a range of helicopter services including scenic tours, weddings and aerial pipeline leak detection.
Chilly rain showers lightly fell on personnel from Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Rescue Group and Ambulance Service near the dam as an emergency backboard was loaded into the rescue helicopter.
Cochran said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board are investigating the crash.
Calls to ATS were not immediately returned.
Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.