Helicopter with “Campus PD” crew crashes near university

One of the passengers tells Pittsburgh channel WTAE that three other injured passengers are doing better while recovering in hospital.
May 1, 2011

A helicopter carrying three crew members for the reality series Campus PD crashed Saturday evening near Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the three crew members for the program, which is produced by Cineflix Productions, are Canadian. As of press time, one of the crew members is in critical condition while another is in serious condition. According to the Associated Press report, the third crew member was able to walk away from the accident. Also, a spokesperson for Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh confirmed to the Associated Press that the pilot had been taken there, but no information about his condition was released.

The names of the injured have not yet been released. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

The helicopter was reportedly in use for filming aerial shots of the university. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported that Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) interim president David Werner wrote an email to students on Sunday regarding the program, which read in part, “I am sure that you share our concerns about having IUP and its students misrepresented in the media through this type of reality show.”

Meanwhile, a representative for borough police, Sgt. William Vojtek, told the Associated Press that the department viewed the program as a way to show  “the job we actually do out here.” 

UPDATE: Cineflix Productions has issued a statement from its head of production, Jane Lloyd, concerning the accident.

It reads: “During filming for one of our shows, Campus PD, three Cineflix crew members were in a helicopter that crashed in Pennsylvania on Saturday night. One of the crew members has been released from the hospital and the other two remain under hospital care.  Our thoughts and prayers are with our crew and their families and loved ones. The families have requested that Cineflix not release the names and we are respecting their privacy.” The company has stopped production on the series in the area.

One of the passengers on the helicopter, Bart Sobolewski, told WTAE Pittsburgh in an interview that he was “a little banged up” but okay, and that the three others injured were doing better while recovering in hospital.

Campus PD airs on NBCUniversal-owned G4 in the U.S. The show, which follows police in various university towns and cities, is in its third season.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.