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Christie Brinkley Hurt in Helicopter Crash

April 2, 1994

TELLURIDE, Colo. (AP) _ Model Christie Brinkley and five others were plucked from 12,800 feet up a mountain by helicopter Friday after the copter they were riding in crashed. Brinkley suffered minor injuries.

The group was trapped on the mountain for about five hours after their helicopter went down at about 1:30 p.m. near Ophir, about six miles south of Telluride. The cause of the crash was not known.

Heavy winds and snow moved in after the crash and a rescue helicopter had to make several trips to the site, braving 40-50 mile mph winds. Its crew hoisted members of Brinkley’s group off the mountain by cable, said Jim Arbaugh of High Country Helicopters.

A man in the group who wasn’t immediately identified was flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. His condition wasn’t immediately released.

Brinkley suffered minor injuries, said her spokeswoman, Margo MacNabb, and was to undergo tests Friday night. She didn’t say exactly what type of injuries the model suffered.

The helicopter was carrying four skiers, a guide and the pilot on a heli- skiing outing, said Mike Gardner, a spokesman for Telluride Heli Trax, the company that operates the ski helicopter service.

Among the skiers, Gardner said, were Brinkley and Sandra Carradine, the ex- wife of actor Keith Carradine. Brinkley is married to musician Billy Joel.

Brinkley, Carradine, the pilot, the guide and another skier were flown back to Telluride.

High winds and the steepness of the terrain prevented commercial helicopters from reaching the downed skiers for most of Friday afternoon, Gardner said.

Officials said weather in the area was partly cloudy and mild most of the day, but turned chilly late Friday afternoon.

Heli-skiing is a popular sport among skiers who want to test their skills in back-country areas not accessible by motor vehicles and ski lifts. Helicopters drop the skiers on mountain slopes, and they ski to the bottom, where they are picked up.

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