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Man Killed when Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing on Road Near Tampa

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 8, 2019

An already unusual incident turned tragic inside of Hillsborough County this past Thursday, April 4th, after a helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing onto a busy street close to Tampa. According to reports from the Florida Highway Patrol, the incident began close to 2:30 in the afternoon while a helicopter with two individuals was flying over 50th Street in Hillsborough County.

The origin of the helicopter was not included in the report. It is also not clear just where the helicopter was going, if it was a private helicopter, or if it was an aircraft being used in some official capacity. What we do know is that around 2:30 in the afternoon something happened to cause the engines in the helicopter to fail.

The pilot of the helicopter was immediately aware of what had happened, and then found themselves forced to try and figure out just where to land the aircraft in order to ensure both the safety of the people around them as well as the safety of themselves. Below the helicopter at this point was 50th Street and, nearby, the intersection of 50th with Palm River Road.

Footage taken from a surveillance camera located at Top Choice Automobile Sales shows the blue helicopter descending from the sky and then bouncing along the roadway until it skids to a full stop. When a helicopter lands, the large blades located along its top do not immediately come to a standstill. Instead, the enormous and hard objects continue to turn at a diminishing rate until they finally come to a halt. It is not clear if this is the reason behind the subsequent events, but it is entirely possible.

After landing on the roadway, the traffic attempting to drive through the area was understandably interrupted. One of the vehicles that was passing through the area, a Chevrolet Silverado, approached the intersection of 50th Street and Palm River Road, drawing near to the helicopter as it went. It is not clear if the driver of the Chevrolet was aware of the helicopter and its spinning blades. If they were, they didn’t take the blades’ reach into account, and the car was struck by one of the rotors as it continued to spin. The force of the impact caused the 72-year-old driver of the Chevrolet to suffer from fatal injuries.

The reason behind the helicopter’s engine failure is still under investigation. It is not known if any charges are currently pending.


James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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