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Helicopter Crashes in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania

By Tanveer Kaur

Site of helicopter crash outside of a Drexel Hill United Methodist Church (Vertical Magazine)

An EC 135 medevac helicopter was transporting an infant from out of state to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia when it began experiencing trouble of an unknown nature and went down at 12:56 p.m. on January 11th.

The aircraft’s tail got spotted, torn off, and folded below the cockpit as it rested on its side on top of a church sign and shrubbery near the church's front door. Its identifying number was obscured. The helicopter's front windows were shattered, and a crew member's helmet could be seen resting in front of the fallen chopper. The church is undamaged along with the houses neighboring the site of the accident.

Upper Darby Fire Chief Derrick Sawyer said the four victims were able to evacuate the helicopter. “The pilot was able to help the nurse that had the baby get out,” Sawyer said.

Further, Upper Darby Police Chief Timothy Bernhardt said in a press conference following the incident “The injuries were not life threatening. It’s a miracle what you see. There’s no debris, no wires down, no trees [down]. How that pilot was able to get that plane there and all four of themselves out of the helicopter.”

Emma Gray, an Upper Darby High School senior, was traveling in a Lyft vehicle when she heard the crash nearby. "We heard this big boom. All of a sudden there was a bunch of glass and flaming debris on the road. Then there was a helicopter and part of it was on fire," she recalled. Gray said she and her Lyft driver got out to help the survivors. "These guys started coming out of it and they're like, 'Someone come help us, there's someone trapped underneath.' They were like, ‘here take this,’ to my Lyft driver, and it was a baby," she said.

The helicopter has been transported to Delaware for further investigation into what caused the crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.


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