Racehorse owner Dai Walters, 76, and trainer Sam Thomas, 38, among four people in helicopter crash


Racehorse owner Dai Walters, 76, and trainer Sam Thomas, 38, are among four people rushed to hospital after their helicopter crashed into woods

  • A helicopter carrying a racecourse owner crashed into woods in bad weather 
  • Horse trainer Sam Thomas and owner Dai Walters and two others were onboard 
  • Mr Walters is still in hospital and believed to have the most severe injuries 
  • Witnesses said the helicopter’s propellers snapped as it crashed in North Wales 

A top racehorse owner and trainer have been seriously injured after their helicopter fell out of the sky and crashed into woods in bad weather.

Horse trainer Sam Thomas, 38, and owner Dai Walters, 76, were among four people inside the chopper when it plummeted into the ground.

Witnesses said the crash ‘looked like something out of a film’ and that the propeller broke off on hitting trees.

Owner Mr Walters is believed to have suffered the most serious injuries and is still in hospital following the incident near the village of Llanelidan, Ruthin, North Wales.

Trainer Sam Thomas, who is based in Cardiff, and won the Welsh Grand National, suffered minor injuries and has been allowed to return home along with the other passengers.

Police said that all four people on board managed to escape the crash without ‘life-threatening or life-changing injuries’.

Heavy wind and rain had persisted throughout the day in Wales although the cause for the accident is now being probed by aviation officials.

The helicopter's propellers are said to have snapped off as it crashed into trees in North Wales

The helicopter’s propellers are said to have snapped off as it crashed into trees in North Wales 

Dai Walters, the chairman of Ffos Las Racecourse, was seriously injured in the crash, reports say

Dai Walters, the chairman of Ffos Las Racecourse, was seriously injured in the crash, reports say 

Trainer Sam Thomas, who won the Welsh Grand National, was also injured in the helicopter accident but has been able to return home

Trainer Sam Thomas, who won the Welsh Grand National, was also injured in the helicopter accident but has been able to return home 

Famous horse owner Mr Walters remains in hospital, but police said no one in the crash had sustained life-threatening or life-altering injuries

Famous horse owner Mr Walters remains in hospital, but police said no one in the crash had sustained life-threatening or life-altering injuries 

Businessman Huw Howatson, told how he had to run for cover as he watched the helicopter come down near his home.

He said: ‘I watched it happen and I was filming the helicopter. I could see it was in trouble and it hit some trees and I had to get out the way

‘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 around 5.36pm on Tuesday.

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.

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