Welsh Grand National winning trainer Sam Thomas and popular owner Dai Walters were reportedly involved in a helicopter crash on Tuesday night. Five people were involved in the incident, with Walters remaining in hospital with ‘serious injuries’.
According to Sky Sports Racing, Walters is the only person involved in the accident to still be in hospital, though he is conscious and undergoing tests from doctors. Thomas, who broke into the horse racing scene as a jockey, returned home with ‘minor injuries’, as well as the other three unnamed people involved in the incident.
The helicopter crashed into the woodlands area in Denbigshire at approximately 5.30pm, with numerous ambulances and fire engines racing to the scene. A spokesperson for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said: “An accident near Ruthin, North Wales involving a helicopter has been notified to the AAIB.
“An investigation has been launched and a team of inspectors are at the accident site.” Walters is a significant supporter of racing and has numerous horses that are trained by Thomas, including the talented Good Risk At All.
Thomas and Walters had a runner on Tuesday at Warwick, with Skytastic coming home a 64-length last on four in the Class 3 contest, and the owner also owned Great Snow, who raced at the track too for trainer Neil Mulholland – coming sixth of 16.
Inspector David Cust from North Wales Police said: “Officers attended alongside colleagues from Welsh Ambulance and North Wales Fire and 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.”
Nearby residents in the local area have spoken about the crash and how the vehicle was visibly ‘in trouble’; Huw Howatson, who watched the accident, told the BBC: “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.” Horse racing fans have flocked to social media to send their best wishes to all involved in the incident and are hoping for more positive news on the condition of Walters as time goes on.