Three Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies escaped injury early this morning when a sheriff's helicopter made a hard landing south of Lakeland.

ee Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies escaped injury early this morning when a sheriff's helicopter made a hard landing south of Lakeland.

According to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Donna Wood, the landing took place at approximately 2:27 a.m. at the end of Yarborough Lane near Crews Lake Drive in the Highland City area.

The helicopter pilot and two flight observers were responding to assist Southwest Region deputies with a suspicious vehicle when the helicopter experienced some sort of mechanical failure, forcing the pilot to land the craft without power.

No one aboard the helicopter was injured; however emergency medical service personnel responded to ensure the crew's well-being.

The pilot of the helicopter was Deputy Brian Bolton. Deputies Mike Ison Mike Ard were the flight observers.

The helicopter landed on its skids and there appears to be minimal damage, Wood said. A full inspection of the craft is under way.