A man is recovering from swelling and a cut after he was hit in the face by a drone in downtown Salt Lake City, authorities said.
Salt Lake City police have located the licensed drone operator who was attempting to land his drone on the sidewalk Monday near a popular Christmas light display in Temple Square, KUTV-TV reported Tuesday.
The drone flew into a man’s face during its descent, causing injuries that required medical attention, Detective Greg Wilking said.
"There was no indication that there was any intent to hurt this person, so we would consider that more of an accident," Wilking said.
The operator's actions were not criminal but he could face consequences from the Federal Aviation Administration, authorities said.
Drone operators are prohibited from flying over people and that it is their responsibility to make sure their aircraft do not pose a threat to people, federal regulators said.
"You're not allowed to fly over people, you're not allowed to fly in dense populated areas ... doing it downtown is just setting yourself up for a possible failure," drone safety expert Jon McBride said.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement that the incident serves as an important reminder that drones are potentially dangerous and should never be operated in public areas or where people are not expecting them, including on Church properties."