Helicopter Crash near Benton Crossing Road

mcsoDowned Helicopter near Benton Crossing Road – From Jennifer Hansen, Public Information Officer, Mono Sheriff

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at approximately 12:30pm, Mono County Sheriff’s Department Dispatch received a call regarding a possible helicopter crash near Benton Crossing Road with reports that the helicopter was on fire.

Personnel from the Mono County Sheriff’s Department, Mammoth Lakes Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Mammoth Lakes Fire Department, Long Valley Fire Department, and Mono County Paramedics were dispatched to the scene. Upon arrival, it was confirmed that a helicopter had crashed near Benton Crossing Road and Deer Springs Road. There were two occupants in the helicopter. They were airlifted via a Mammoth/Yosemite Airport helicopter back to the Mammoth/Yosemite Airport and taken via ambulance to Mammoth Hospital for treatment.

The crash caused a small brush fire that is currently being attended to by local fire agencies. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined and is currently under investigation by the FAA.


13 Responses to Helicopter Crash near Benton Crossing Road

  1. salblaster September 19, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    maybe it was shot down by pot growing banditos who seem to be taking over are mountains.

  2. Big Rick OB September 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    MAN, you can bet that they were in no hurry to get into ANOTHER helicopter…hope they’re both alright.

  3. concerned citizen September 20, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    Question for Chief Watson,

    Given the significant response from the local agencies who actually had jurisdiction in the area of the accident (CHP, MCSO, Mammoth Fire, Long Valley Fire, Town Airport personnel etc…), was it truly necessary to have two MLPD units dispatched to this incident? Was mutual aid of the MLPD requested or was there simply nothing going on in the Town of Mammoth Lakes during the day? Here is somethng to do during the day – now that school has started, how about some presence in the school zone along Meridian to crack down of excessive speeding and agressive driving in that area? The schools let out at 2:30 pm and high school kids are present during lunch at the 4-way stop.

    • Dan Watson September 20, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      MLPD responded to the helicopter crash for a couple of reasons. The initial call reporting the crash was not clear as to the location. It came out as east of the airport. The airport property is policed by the MLPD. Irregardless of that, MLPD responds to major incidents outside their area of jurisdiction as does the CHP, MCSO and others. The crash was in Mono County territory in the jurisdiction of the Sheriffs and Long Valley Fire. The CHP and Mammoth Lakes Fire also responded to outside their jurisdiction, as they should. There are 3300 square miles in the County and the Sheriff’s Department often has a delayed response. When the MLPD officers arrived on scene and determined that sufficient fire resources and CHP were present, they left and returned to Mammoth Lakes.

      When it comes to critical incidents such as an aircraft crash, major traffic collision, or other life threatening event, first responders do not worry about boundary lines. Their primary concern is public safety. That is why MLPD occasionally responds to serious crashes on 395, such as the fatality a couple of months ago a few miles north of 203. That’s because we are often the first to arrive on scene and that can make the difference whether someone lives or dies. Likewise, MCSO deputies and the CHP will respond into the town for critical incidents even though it’s not their jurisdiction.

      We live in a remote part of the state with limited resources that cover large areas. It’s essential for the first responders to assist each other initially. Once the situation is stabilized and adequate resources are available, it’s appropriate for the event to be handled by those with the responsibility to do so. That’s what happened at the helicopter crash yesterday.

      • Trouble September 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

        Mr. Dan Watson – I normally enjoy nipping at the police ankles for a lot of these blogs. Not this time. I appreciate your response and the police forces response in this matter . Thank you.

        • Big AL September 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

          Yes .. good response!

    • taxifornia September 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      give them a break.. they need something to do.. It is not everyday that a helicopter crashes in our area.

      They are just puttin in the time until 52 for the big pay day.

      Public pensions for Everyone

      • Big AL September 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

        Taxifornation, why don’t you give it a rest already, like a broken record,

        • ya get what ya pay for September 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

          Amen, Big Al. Taxifornia is of those that believes anybody working in town, county, state, or federal government should do so voluntarily and without pay.
          (Probably Larry Johnson in disguise)
          Can you imagine how bad things would be if everyone in power positions were the guys whose only credentials, degrees, experience etc. were that they got one more vote than the other guy?

    • Trouble September 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

      Concerned Citizen-I’m sure all the high school kids would just love to have the cops sitting outside thier school every time the come out.

  4. TKG September 20, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    The crew was unhurt. Went to the hospital just as a precaution.

    • Big AL September 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      Well I’m glad to know they were not hurt. That is what concerned citizen should be concerned with more than sour grapes. and taxes and pensions, thanks for that info TKG.

  5. Tim September 20, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    HEY concerned citizen, Gee let me think if you were in a crash (air or road) you would want the same response that the two people got. I agree with your concern about not speeding in a school zone. I disagree with your comments about who went to help the people who needed it. You should be so lucky if you crashed!


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