Last Wednesday, shortly before noon, an unexpected and unusual Phoenix accident occurred when a helicopter crashed into quiet neighborhood.
When the helicopter wreck happened, Alan Cottrell and Ron Ponce were busy working on the job for the Phoenix Water Services Department. After the impact, they ran to the downed chopper and, with the help of a neighbor, pulled both the pilot and a passenger from the wreckage.
Phoenix Police Department spokesman James Holmes described their actions on that day as heroic. He stated to reporters at the scene:
"I think we've got two or three heroes down here on the ground, and so we're all very happy."
When asked about the state of the injured pilot and passenger, and the reason for the crash taking place, Holmes said:
"What's more important is that they are alive. It appears that they are going to be okay."
The two that were injured were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. The Hughes 269C model helicopter was loaded onto a truck to be transported as officials continued their investigation into the incident.
The whole event unfolded at around 11:45 a.m. when the helicopter flew too low, clipping the roof of a house, colliding with a second house, and finally landing in a Phoenix neighborhood home's backyard.
Witnesses had reported that the aircraft had appeared to them to have been experiencing some sort of engine problem or failure in the moments leading up to the crash.
Cottrell described the event, stating:
"It was sheer panic..Panic, helpless, scared, all rolled into one. It was so scary. We couldn't get to them. We had to break the gate open with a pry bar."
He went on:
"They had some buts and scrapes. The pilot had a broken arm. They weren't saying anything and the passenger was reluctant to get out of the helicopter."
The cause of the crash has not yet been determined as of yet and the investigation may likely take a good deal of time.
Even as a longtime Phoenix accident lawyer, this is an truly remarkable story. One rarely ever hears about a helicopter going down in a residential neighborhood. That these three men acted in such a heroic way seems more likely to have been in an action movie than in real life and it is great to see what some people are made of when they are called to action.
Everyone at our Phoenix car accident law firm hopes for the speedy and full recovery of the two that were injured and applaud the great heroism that was shown by these three individuals who helped rescue the victims in this incident.