Efforts Underway To Bring Holladay Man Home After Helicopter Crash

60 year old Mike Trabert suffered a broken neck & ribs Tuesday in Russia

Sugar House - SUGAR HOUSE (ABC4 Utah News) - The family of a beloved tennis instructor from Holladay has one goal: Bring Mike Home.

60 year old Mike Trabert is a triathlete and avid heli-skier. On Tuesday the helicopter he and 15 others were in crashed in Kamchatka, Russia.

Mike's Younger Sister, Brooke Trabert explains what happened.

"A gust of wind came up and it tilted the helicopter just a little bit," Brooke told ABC4 Utah News Thursday. "Maybe the rotor, the propeller, hit something, I'm really not sure and they just started rolling."

"This is the phone call I always thought I might get but hoped I wouldn't," Mike's wife Dinny Trabert said. "It's been one of my greatest fears when he goes on these ski trips but I have to be honest, I always thought it was going to be in an avalanche or a ski accident. I just never thought the helicopter."

Miraculously everyone survived but Mike suffered a fractured neck and two broken ribs.

At the Salt Lake Tennis & Swim Club where Mike is the Tennis Manager the reaction was shock and now concern.

Wolf Von Lindenau, the club's Director of Tennis is Mike's longtime friend, coworker and fellow skier.

"At first it was disbelief like it was just a story," Von Lindenau said. "I don't think anybody could come to terms with the reality of it at first. You know it just sounds like such a harrowing tale that you would hear in a movie."

Now Mike's wife and sister have started a GoFundMe page to raise money needed for an expensive medical evacuation flight back to Salt Lake City.

"I know it was going to be a lot but i just had no idea but we're looking between $100,000 and $150,000 to be able to fly him home," Dinny said. "He has to be transported so he's totally immobile. He has to be lying flat and he needs to have medical staff with him."
 
Despite the cost and the long rehabilitation he faces, Mike's family is grateful.

"It could have been so much worse," Dinny said.

"The pilot had the wherewithal to turn the engine off just before they hit," Brooke said. "Otherwise they would have exploded and killed everybody."

Mike's family hopes to have him back at the University of Utah Medical Center on Saturday.

If you'd like to help, the GoFundMe page can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/miketrabert


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