A helicopter carrying four crew members filming a commercial for Volkswagen/Audi has crashed near the summit of the famed Pikes Peak Highway just west of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in El Paso County. The pilot is reportedly in critical condition, and three passengers are listed as stable.
Due to the location of the crash, a medical helicopter is unable to reach the victims, so crews are attempting to transfer the injured to nearby Crystal Creek Reservoir, which is the closest the medics were able to get. Hazmat crews have reportedly been dispatched to clean up a 150-gallon fuel spill from the crash.
According to KKTV in Southern Colorado, the crew was filming Audi's driverless car as it navigated to the summit of Pikes Peak. Click past the break for a couple videos of Shelley, Audi's autonomous TTS, in action. Thanks for the tip, Mason!
*Update: Audi's official statement on the incident is pasted after the break.
[Source: KKTV Colorado | Photos by jurvetson | CC2.0]
HERNDON, Va., Sep 17, 2010 - Audi is saddened by the helicopter incident that took place this morning near the summit of Pikes Peak. Today's film crew was shooting a test run of the "Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak," a joint program involving Audi, the Electronic Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, and Stanford University. The goal of the project involves ascending Pikes Peak autonomously without a driver behind the wheel to demonstrate the capabilities of advanced driver assistance systems and GPS. The car was not involved in the incident.
Further information on the helicopter incident will be released by the National Transportation Safety Board and local law enforcement officials. All research activities on Pikes Peak have been suspended. The research project will continue at a later date.
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