James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Top racehorse trainer and owner injured among four people injured in horror helicopter crash
2 November 2022, 14:03 | Updated: 2 November 2022, 14:31
A top racehorse owner and trainer have narrowly escaped death after their helicopter crashed into a forest.
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Welsh Grand National-winning trainer and former jockey Sam Thomas, 38, and owner Dai Walters, 76, were among four people injured when the chopper plummeted from the sky.
Witnesses described the crash as looking "like something out of a film", claiming the propeller broke off once it hit the trees.
Mr Thomas, who won the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup riding Denman, has already been discharged after suffering minor injuries.
Mr Walters is believed to be seriously injured and remains in hospital near the village of Llanelidan, Ruthin, North Wales.
But police said none of the passengers sustained "life-threatening or life-changing injuries".
Businessman Huw Howatson, who witnessed the crash, said he had to run for cover because debris was "flying everywhere".
"I could see [the helicopter] was in trouble and it hit some trees and I had to get out the way," he told Wales News Service.
"A piece of propeller came away.
"We had to scarper because there was lots of debris, it was just flying everywhere - it was like a movie."
Police, firefighters, ambulance officials and a coastguard helicopter all attended the scene at just after 5.30pm on Tuesday.
The cause of the crash is not yet known, but Wales has seen a day of heavy rain and high winds.
Inspector David Cust from North Wales Police said: "Officers attended alongside colleagues from Welsh Ambulance and North Wales Fire & Rescue as part of a joint emergency response.
"All the occupants have been accounted for, with four people having been taken to hospitals across the area.
"None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening or life-changing at this time.
"Whilst a multiple agency response remains at the scene, the ongoing investigation into the cause will be dealt with by the Civil Aviation Authority."
It is not yet clear who owned the helicopter or the route it had been taking.