Online Exclusive

Fla. Sheriff's Chopper Crashes on Interstate Ramp


A helicopter from the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office crashed while responding to a rollover wreck on Interstate 95 crashed Sunday.

The aircraft went down on a ramp leading to I-95 at Okeechobee Road in Fort Pierce. Investigators said the pilot was called to search the area to see if anyone in the wreck had been thrown from the vehicle.

The helicopter pilot, Shawn E. Sullivan, was the only one on board. He was taken to Lawnwood Medical Center.

Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said Sullivan was being checked for possible spinal injuries, but the prognosis was encouraging.

"Our latest information is that Deputy Sullivan's injuries are not serious," he said.

The helicopter was damaged in the crash.

The crash has shut down the on-ramp, but northbound I-95 has reopened.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said it has notified two federal agencies: the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Sullivan has been a member of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office for one year.

The helicopter that crashed is a Bell OH-58, a U.S. Army surplus helicopter that the Sheriff's Office acquired after paying a small processing fee to the U.S. Army

Copyright 2011 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.