Tower's Lights Reportedly On Before Crash

Radio station's president told video confirms it



Andre Salles | | Wednesday, October 22, 2008 Editor's Note:Click here to read "'We've Lost Too Many Lives' in EMS Crashes" and let us know in the comment section below how you feel about tougher FAA rules for the aeromedical industry.

CHICAGO -- A security videotape shows the warning lights on WBIG's 734-foot radio tower were functioning when a medical helicopter clipped one of the guy wires, killing three crew members and a 14-month-old girl on board, according to the station's president.

Rick Jakle said Tuesday he has been informed of the contents of the security tape, which came from a camera in the Metra parking lot at Aurora's Route 59 train station. He said the tape shows the tower's lights on and blinking until the crash.

The tape has been turned over to investigators, who have been trying to determine whether the lights were on before an Air Angels helicopter clipped one of the tower's wires shortly before midnight Oct. 15.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board could not be reached for comment.

Jakle said the station's general manager, Steve Marten, saw the lights working when he left the building at 7 p.m. that day.

"Those lights are extremely reliable," Jakle said. "They don't go out unless there is a thunderstorm or lightning. We're happy to hear the corroborating evidence, but the fact is, we knew they were on."

Meanwhile, the Air Angels have scheduled a memorial service for Friday for the crew and young patient who died in last week's helicopter crash.

The service will be at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 701 S. Eola Road in Aurora.

Pilot DelWaugh, nurse William Mann, paramedic Ron Battiato and 14-month-old Kirstin Blockinger of Leland will be honored at the service. It will include a ceremonial procession at 9:45 a.m., the memorial at 10 a.m. and a memorial procession at 11:30 a.m.

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Line of Duty Deaths, Operations and Protcols

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS


Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Community Paramedicine Expanding in Maine

Eight departments receive a grant for use towards the new program.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

New Ambulance, Fire Engine Approved for Illinois Department

Officials approve new purchases for Bloomington.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Alabama Officials Worry over Ambulance Coverage

County officials work to find best solution.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Car Crashes into Texas Ambulance

Ambulance hit while responding to a call.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >

More Product Videos >