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Helicopters collide mid-air

By now probably everyone reading this has seen the news about the mid-air news helicopters collision that occurred in Phoenix today about 12:50 pm MST. The copters collided about a half-mile north of our offices, which are only stories below the height at which the collision occurred. We’re on the 14th floor. Several of our staff had a bird’s eye view of the horrific accident.

Mike had called Kelly, our office manager, into his office, asking why are those helicopters up there. Kelly watched the copters, and Mike’s attention was drawn to the street where many police cars, their sirens sounding, were involved in a car chase, which in recent years have become the rage with the TV media.

Kelly said one copter did a hard bank north and hit the other one solidly, maybe head-on, maybe in the side. There were at least four copters following the chase, circling for position to film.

I heard the collision, and immediately looked to the street, thinking it was a major auto accident. Then my eyes were drawn upward as the copters fell straight down behind a parking garage. A huge black smoke stack rose immediately.

Mike was talking on his cell phone as he watched the chase. His view of the collision was peripheral, but Kelly, whose husband is a pilot, watched the copters. There was no crash landing. The helicopters fell like rocks. Fred in shipping also witnessed the collision.

Our offices gave those watching a prefect view of the chase. The police had shot out the tires on the chased vehicle, which turned out to be a construction truck, which the driver ditched in a vacant lot only yards from an FBI building. The driver jumped in another construction truck, which, by happen stance, must have had keys in the ignition.

The second truck had a small cement mixer on the back; the chase headed east on a street one block north of our office building. That was when the collision happened, and no one in the office continued to watch the chase.

As this is written, the smoke has dissipated, the police guard the ditched truck, and the news is nationwide, probably worldwide. We can see that the truck’s tires on the passenger side are flat. The way the truck is sitting, the driver side tires may be flat also.

Obviously, no news copter continued with the chase, which ended miles west of the crash site. Mike tells me that the guy being chased can be criminally charged with the deaths of the newspersons in the copters. Not a good way to start a weekend.

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