No severe injuries in La Sal Mountain helicopter crash
There were no serious injuries after a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) helicopter with three occupants crashed in the La Sal Mountains in northern San Juan County.
According to the San Juan County Sheriff Jason Torgerson, the men were evacuated from the crash site by a Utah Division of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter at approximately 3 p.m. on Thursday, December 8.
The crash of the DWR helicopter was reported at 11:15 a.m. when a witness described a metallic blue helicopter go down in steep terrain on the mountain peak, but did not see any smoke or fire.
San Juan and Grand County Sheriff’s and Search and Rescue personnel responded to the area and determined that the helicopter was a DWR wildlife capture helicopter.
After making radio contact with the helicopter crew, it was determined that three personnel were on board at the time of the crash. They reported to rescue crews that there were no injuries sustained.
Because the search and rescue personnel were unable to reach the scene of the crash, the DPS helicopter was requested to help with the mission.
The men were airlifted to a staging zone and were cleared by Grand County EMS ambulance personnel. There were minor injuries of bruises and soreness, but all three were released.
The helicopter crew was tranquillizing mountain goats, attaching tracking collars, and drawing blood.
The Sheriff's office states that it is unknown at this time what caused the helicopter to go down.
The incident will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Sheriff Torgerson said, "We thank the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County Search and Rescue, Grand County EMS, US Forest Service, San Juan County Search and Rescue, and the Utah Department of Public Safety for all working together, not only during this incident, but at all times to protect and serve our great county, residents, and visitors."