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Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Drunk Driver Crashes Into Helicopter

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Oct 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

When an impaired driver gets into an accident, they can cause serious injury to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. In some cases, drunk drivers can end up crashing into a house, causing serious injury or death. Now, even helicopters are not immune to accidents involving intoxicated drivers.

After serious car accidents, a medivac helicopter may be called in to take an accident victim to the nearest hospital for emergency treatment. Emergency helicopters are especially common in rural areas where medical treatment may be far away. In Gallup, New Mexico, the medical team with Air Medical Rescue Group was on the scene of a car accident to airlift a victim to the hospital.

The scene of the accident was surrounded by the flashing lights of two fire trucks, the emergency helicopter, and a tow truck. Frank Hernandez was the tow truck driver at the accident to take away the wrecked vehicle involved in a rollover accident.

“I noticed after we got the vehicle picked up, this black Jeep flew past us,” said Hernandez. “I was thinking, ‘What the heck is this guy doing?' Because they had people out there trying to stop traffic, already he almost hit two ladies.”

The jeep crashed through the safety barriers around the medical helicopter, smashing into a fire truck and the helicopter. The helicopter was unoccupied and the blades were not spinning at the time of the accident. Luckily, no one was injured in the helicopter and Jeep accident. The original accident victim was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

“Our medical team did an outstanding job,” said a spokesperson for the helicopter rescue group. “The patient was extremely critical, they maintained composure, they were professional and the stabilized this patient despite the incident that occurred on the scene.”

According to the McKinley Sheriff's Office, Glenn Livingston, 26, of Gallup was arrested after the accident. He has been charged with aggravated DWI, resisting arrest, and other offenses.

Surprisingly, this is not the only incident of its kind. In April, a similar accident occurred near Walt Disney World in Florida. A medical helicopter was responding to a rollover accident which injured a pedestrian. The Florida Highway Patrol had set up a roadblock around the accident scene while the patient was being prepared for transportation on the helicopter for emergency medical care.

Suddenly, a vehicle crashed through the roadblock and hit the tail rotor of the emergency helicopter. The vehicle was driven by 20-year-old Cameron Brian Sunderly. When troopers approached the vehicle, they said they detected the obvious smell of alcohol on the driver's breath. Troopers said his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, despite being underage. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, and refusal to obey a police officer.

At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending drivers facing DUI accident charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how a drunk driving conviction can affect your future, and how to fight to keep a conviction off your record. If you are a driver facing a DUI, contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for 30 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense.

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