News sources reported that a luxury helicopter tour of the Las Vegas Sunset Strip and Hoover Dam crashed into a mountainside Wednesday evening, taking the lives of the pilot and four passengers near Lake Mead. The tour was operated by Sundance helicopters in Las Vegas.
According to National Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz, the accident occurred in the River Mountains surrounding Lake Mead just before 5pm on Wednesday. The crash, which was remotely witnessed by numerous people, happened about 4 miles west of Lake Mead and roughly 30 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. The scene is not accessible by road an initially slowed a rescue and recovery effort until early Thursday. A park ranger rode a 4-wheel drive vehicle to scene in the meantime to protect the bodies and scene until the investigation could begin.
Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, stated that the helicopter was an AS-350, and could hold up to six passengers during an air tour. The FAA is unclear as to what may have caused the accident, as the weather was mostly clear Wednesday in that area.
The identities of the victims have yet to be disclosed as officials are continuing their investigation.
As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I’m deeply saddened to learn of this tragic accident. In my time as an injury lawyer, I’ve seen the devastating effects that accidents similar to this have had on the family and friends left behind, and I offer my most sincere condolences as they mourn their loss.