Medical Helicopter Crashes in New Mexico; Hospital Mourns Fallen Crew

Helicopter with crew of three found near Newkirk

 

 
 
 

| Thursday, July 17, 2014


VIDEOS

Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Hospital Mourns Helicopter Crash Victims

TriState CareFlight pilot and crew killed in crash.
more >





NEWKIRK, N.M. (AP) — A medical helicopter flying to pick up a patient crashed into the side of a New Mexico hilltop early Thursday, bursting into flames and killing all three crew members on board, authorities said.

The helicopter was flying from Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe to Tucumcari when it disappeared from radar at 2:48 a.m.

It went down near Newkirk along Interstate 40 about 135 miles east of Albuquerque and about 30 miles from Tucumcari.

Ranch workers found the wreckage on the rocky, northern side of a mesa after authorities called and asked them to look around the area.

"It crashed and burned," said ranch manager Phil Bidegain. "No survivors .... Everything burned except for the very end of the tail."

Bidegain said a ranch cowboy he called to help him look for the craft told him he was awakened by a sound but went back to sleep because he didn't know what it was.

"When he got up he could see the flames," Bidegain said.

Hospital spokesman Arturo Delgado confirmed all three people on board were killed. Their identities were not immediately released, but he said the CareFirst crew was well-known at the hospital.

"These crew members were our colleagues, our friends and our neighbors," the hospital said in statement. "Our hearts, and our prayers, go out to the loved ones of these extraordinary individuals, who were committed to saving lives every single day."

The Federal Aviation Administration said the cause of the crash was unknown, although the National Weather Service said there were low clouds and gusty winds in the area at the time.

"The combination ... likely led at least in part to that crash," said Brian Guyer, a meteorologist at the NWS in Albuquerque.

He said there might have also been some rain as storms had moved through the area earlier.

Kansas City attorney and medical helicopter safety expert Gary Robb says the aircraft are also difficult to fly.

"Helicopters don't glide," he said. "You must pay attention every second. If you don't, they are dangerous."

He said helicopters crash at a rate 40 percent higher than small, fixed-wing aircraft. And medical helicopters crash at an ever higher rate.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Bullhead City, Arizona-based TriState CareFlight LLC owned and operated the helicopter, said company marketing director John Cole, who was traveling to the crash scene and could not immediately comment further.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mobile Category: 
News


Related Links:


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


New Mexico Hospital Mourns Helicopter Crash Victims


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, medical helicopter crash, EMS LODD

 
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

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Delaware Bus Crash MCI

A view from the triage sector as EMS crews work on several patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Delaware Bus Crash MCI

A view from the triage sector as EMS crews work on several patients.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

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

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


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
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 >