Helicopter crash in Mount Baldy area injures 3; prompts rescue operation

MOUNT BALDY, Calif. (KABC) -- A helicopter crashed Thursday morning in the snow-covered Mount Baldy area, prompting a rescue operation by the San Bernardino County Fire Department, officials said.

The incident occurred west of and 1,000 feet below the Mount Baldy summit, the fire department said on Twitter shortly before noon. According to the agency, hikers at the scene initially reported the helicopter's occupants were "awake and talking."

Four people were in the Robinson R44 when it made a "hard landing," leaving its tail boom significantly damaged, said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration's Pacific Division.

A fire department helicopter was dispatched to the crash site, which was inaccessible to ground units, officials said.

That chopper landed "offsite" and rescuers made contact with the crashed helicopter's four occupants, the fire department said. Three people were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries, according to officials with the sheriff's department.

After being escorted onto the agency's Air Rescue 7 helicopter, the individuals were flown to a landing zone at Cow Canyon Saddle.

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