Lyft driver recalls rushing to Drexel Hill helicopter crash site to save infant

The pilot flying the Eurocopter EC135 medical helicopter has been identified as Danial Moore.
DREXEL HILL, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The National Transportation Safety Board has started its "data-gathering mission" after a medical helicopter fell out of the sky and crashed outside of a church in Drexel Hill, Delaware County on Tuesday.

Video obtained by Action News captured the frightening moment the Eurocopter EC135 medical helicopter carrying three crew members and a two-month-old girl crashed to the ground on Burmont Road.

"It's a miracle. It's an absolute miracle," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy M. Bernhardt.

And a miracle it was.

The three crew members and the infant girl were all rushed to area hospitals. Amazingly, only the pilot, identified as Danial Moore, suffered serious injuries but is expected to survive.

SEE ALSO: Video shows moment of medical helicopter crash in Drexel Hill; wreckage being removed from scene
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Action News has obtained surveillance video showing the moment a medical helicopter crashed near a church in Drexel Hill, Delaware County.



"His medical condition precludes him from speaking to us anytime in the immediate future. He is doing well. His prognosis is good, but he's very uncomfortable and I will just leave it at that," said Brain Rayner with the NTSB.

Lyft driver Kathryn Donofrio and her passenger were nearby after the moment of impact. Both of them rushed in to help.

"I'm kinda just staring at it for a second cause it was like a helicopter in front of a church. We saw all the fuel coming out of it, and there was a little bit of fire," she recalled.

Donofrio says she saw a crew member sitting on top of the aircraft holding what she did not know was a baby girl.

"He yelled, 'I need help.' Your first reaction is to stay away, but as soon as he said he needed help, I was like, 'What would Jesus do?'" recalled Donofrio. "I literally was like, 'Give me whatever you need to give me and get the heck out of there before it blows.'"

Laura Mellon captured these images of the aftermath of a helicopter crash that injured three people including an infant in Drexel Hill, Pa. on Jan. 11, 2022.



The Lyft driver says she never thought she was going to be handed a baby.

"I was no way expecting what he was gonna give me, and that's when he handed me the baby girl, and I'm like 'OK,'" said Donofrio.

Witness Alexa Sheeran snapped a photo of Donofrio running from the chopper with the baby in her hands.



Donofrio lauds the crew member as a hero.

"He actually could have jumped out himself, but as the picture shows, he was on top with the blanket. He didn't want to get out until he knew the baby was out," she said.

The pilot's mother tells Action News that her son spent many years in the US Army flying helicopters on missions before piloting medical helicopters.

She says her son is going into surgery on Thursday and is asking for the community's prayers.

On Wednesday night, a crane carefully hauled the wreckage away.

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The three crew members were rushed to Lankenau Medical Center and the infant patient was taken to CHOP. Officials said no one suffered life-threatening injuries.



Federal investigators will work to figure out what went wrong.

"There are electronic components on board that we will be able to download on-site. There are components we will have to remove and ship to other places here in the United States, and there potentially are components that we have to ship to Europe," said Rayner.

The NTSB says the investigation could take up to a year.
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