She’s counting her blessings! Christie Brinkley won’t forget the day she was riding on a helicopter crashed in Telluride, Colorado, in 1994. Since the crash made Christie, 65, realize that she should never take her life for granted, she took to Instagram on Monday, April 1, to share a photo of herself displaying her injuries from the accident on the April 1994 cover of People.
“This happened 25 years ago today and not a day goes by that I have not counted my blessing for being alive,” she penned the caption. “I know for a fact that tomorrow is not a guarantee and that each day is a gift and an opportunity to make sure that everybody we love knows it! 💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛.”
In 1994, Christie unknowingly boarded a helicopter that would eventually crash with five of her friends in the San Juan mountain range. She was 40 years old at the time, and in a previous interview with People, she recalled how it was a bad idea for them to use the helicopter to take them up the mountain to ski instead of using a typical ski lift.
“I would look out the window and see sky, mountain, snow, sky, mountain, snow,” she said about her helicopter tumbling down the cliff from 12,800 feet up in the air. “Just boom, boom, boom, pow!” Christie began thinking about her daughter Alexa Ray Joel, who was 8-years-old at the time and said that it made her want to survive the crash even more.
“All of a sudden I said, ‘Alexa.’ I suddenly thought, ‘I am her mother, and she needs me. I am not going to die. I refuse. I won’t.’ With each blow I would call out her name. It was just machinery and me — ’Alexa!’ ‘Smash!’ ‘Alexa! ‘Smash!'” she recalled.
By the time the helicopter reached the bottom of the mountain, Christie fell out of the open door and landed on the snow. “I am alive! God!” she remembered thinking, and the first thing that she did was hug her daughter. “Seeing my daughter was the sweetest thing in the world. Everything I had dreamt of when I was going through the ordeal was that. She came over to me, put her hands on my face and hugged me,” she said. “I told her I loved her so much.”