Monday, July 30, 2007

Radio Reporter Involved in Helicopter Crash

Updated Friday, August 10 in bold face

There is now a radio connection to the rash of news helicopter crashes, killing four and injuring three others, which have occurred over the past two and one half days.

This morning, Julie Deharty, traffic reporter for KRLD-AM and KVIL-FM in Dallas, was one of three people aboard a news helicopter that lost power, after covering a traffic accident, and crashed near a lake in Grand Prairie Texas.

According to the Dallas Morning News Deharty received a received a severe gash in her head.

It appears that DeHarty's injuries were more severe than the ones described in the intial reports, The traffic reporter underwent surgery on Saturday, Aug 4th for head and neck injuries is recovering and in stable condition.

She told WFFA that she would have to wear a halo screwed into her skull for at least three months. DeHarty also said she suffered a gash on her head that required seven staples. E-mail wishes can be sent to Julie at

The other reporters, Chip Waggoner with KDFW-TV and the pilot Curtis Crump sustained minor injuries. All three were transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

Go here to view a video of this morning's crash.

On Friday, the results of a crash involving two news helicopters in Phoenix, that were covering a high speed car chase, were much more catastrophic. According to AP,two pilots and two news photographers were killed when the helicopters they were flying collided, crashing in flames on the ground.

The helicopters involved in the crash were from two Phoenix TV stations -- KTVK and KNXV.

Killed on board the KTVK helicopter were pilot Scott Bowerbank and photographer Jim Cox. On board the KNXV aircraft were reporter-pilot Craig Smith and photographer Rick Krolak. No one on the ground was injured.

Meanwhile, the man suspected of starting the chase was booked into jail on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of theft and one count of resisting arrest.

Christopher Jermaine Jones, 23, also may be held responsible for the helicopter crash, police said.

According to court documents, Jones told officers that he didn't remember stealing two trucks, ramming a police cruiser and leading officers on a chase through Phoenix. He said he woke up as officers were trying to arrest him at his friend's house.

Though the mid-air collision in Phoenix and the close call in Dallas are cautionary examples of the dangers of helicopter journalism, don’t expect to see fewer news choppers hovering over whatever the next big story of the moment is.

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