AMERCIAN FORK, Utah (AP) — Authorities say it's remarkable that two men survived a Monday morning helicopter crash southeast of Salt Lake City.
The two men were aboard a two-seat helicopter at about 8:30 a.m. when a gust of wind forced them into the side of a mountain in a remote area of American Fork Canyon. After the helicopter hit the mountain, it rolled downhill.
The men, 24 and 28, crawled out from the wreckage and called 911. Rescue crews arrived about 45 minutes later and found them alive but both with several broken bones. They were flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital.
"It's pretty amazing that they'd survive the initial impact of a crash. And then for the helicopter to roll down the hill and then for them to self-extricate, get themselves out of that helicopter, is all pretty remarkable," said Lone Peak Assistant Fire Chief Spencer Edwards, according to the Deseret News.
One of the survivors asked a paramedic who was treating him, "How did I survive this?" The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
"You had somebody watching out for you, brother," Lone Peak Fire District paramedic Steve Allred said he told him.
The helicopter, a light, single engine aircraft called a Robinson R-22, belongs to Tumbleweed Leasing Co., based in Salt Lake City, a Federal Aviation Administration's aircraft registry shows.
Scott Benning, an assistant chief at Tumbleweed, confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune that one of the company's pilots was doing an instructional flight at the time of the crash.
The American Fork Canyon is about 20 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City.