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Chopper ambulance crashes after hitting power line in rural area

Nov 15, 2012 - From staff reports

Fremont County Sheriff's deputies responded at about 8 a.m. Thursday to reports of a downed aircraft about 45 miles east of Riverton near the Lucky Mc Uranium District.

According to reports, a 1996 Bell 407 helicopter crash-landed north of Gas Hills Road along Dry Creek Road east of Riverton. Deputies said three people were inside of the aircraft; all three survived the crash, and only minor injuries were reported.

Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Lee said the Bell 407 is owned and operated by Classic Aviation out of Wood Cross, Utah. He said the company operates an air ambulance service based out of Riverton, but no patients were on board during the crash.

"It is my understanding that the aircraft was en route back to Riverton from the Casper area when the collision occurred," Lee said. "It appears that the aircraft struck a set of power lines causing significant damage to the helicopter. The pilot was able to keep the aircraft under control and land upright a short distance away from the collision site."

He said the helicopter is not operable, and technicians with High Plains Power were on scene Thursday afternoon repairing power lines.

The Sheriff's office will work with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to complete an investigation into the incident.

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