Monday night, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Dallas Police helicopter, Air1, was assisting in a search for a man whose boat capsized on Lake Ray Hubbard. During the search, a bird hit Air1 and shattered the windshield. The fragments from the impact struck the pilot, Sergeant Todd Limerick, in the face causing him to be momentarily incapacitated. The co-pilot, Senior Corporal Laurent Lespagnol, quickly jumped into action and took control of the aircraft to make an emergency landing.
Senior Corporal Lespagnol was able to land the helicopter safely in the Robertson Park area. This task was extremely difficult because of the night time conditions and the possibility of nearby power lines. In the end, Senior Corporal Lespagnol was able to bring the helicopter in for a safe landing using the spotlight. Sergeant Limerick was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries. He is now home recovering with his family.
The boater that officers were searching for also had a happy ending; he was found safe.
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