Friday, March 14, 2008

Pilot survives copter crash on Lac St. Louis

JASON MAGDER, a Montreal sailor out of PCYC, wrote this article for the Gazette published just a few hours ago.

After emergency workers searched for nearly two hours for a 43-year-old woman whose helicopter crashed on Lake St. Louis, a Radio-Canada cameraman decided to take matters into his own hands.

Acting on a hunch, Gilbert Laporte walked onto the frozen lake to find the woman who was walking on the ice and was unable to find her way to shore.

She called 911 about 7:15 p.m. to say her helicopter had crashed.

Police, firefighters and ambulance workers were stationed both at the shore of Pointe Claire, in front of St. Joachim church, and in front of Baie d'Urfé town hall. Police were on the phone with the woman trying to guide her to shore, but her cellphone lost reception.

As emergency workers searched the lake, Laporte waited on shore near the church.

"I could only see a tiny black spot that looked like it was on the other side of the world, but I thought that might be her," Laporte said. "I took a chance and walked out to her."

He found the woman about 9 p.m. and then phoned emergency workers who transported her to shore by sled and then to hospital by ambulance.

The woman complained of pain to her back and legs, but appeared to be in good condition, Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe said. The helicopter had not been found by last night. It was not known how she lost control of the helicopter.