By Dominic Garcia

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– A group is on a mission to make sure the victims of the 1997 AirLife helicopter crash are never forgotten. The incident happened on Dec. 14, 1997 when an airlife crew was responding to a serious car accident in Littleton.

(credit: Friends of AirLife)

“The pilot did an in-ground effect and took off and as he took off they did not see the power lines that were right across the South Platte River and ended up hitting those wires and pretty much everybody deceased at impact,” said Nicole Gellhaus with the organization Friends of AirLife.

(credit: Friends of AirLife)

Members of the crew who died were pilot Peter Abplanalp, flight nurse Leslie Feldman, and flight nurse Beth Barber. Friends of AirLife was founded to honor and celebrate the crew members who tragically died are committed to remembering those who lost their lives in the line of duty. This year the group is bringing back their annual 5K/10K run/walk and volleyball tournament on May 7 after a COVID-19 hiatus.

“So this is a big day that we get together, bringing our work families and home families together. We have a 5k, 10k Memorial run and walk. We have kids around… that’s a lot of fun. And then we usually have a lot of kids events like a bounce house and face painting that just bring everybody together in that community,” Gellhaus told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

(credit: Friends of AirLife)

The 5K/10K run/walk will take place at 7 AM at Hudson Gardens in Littleton. Following the run/walk an annual volleyball tournament will be held at 10:30 AM also at Hudson Gardens.

Proceeds from this charitable event go toward EMS and Air Medical safety initiatives, providing free EMS education, scholarships, and charitable assistance for families of fallen heroes.

Individuals can register here: Friends of AirLife

Dominic Garcia