CONWAY, Ark. - Three crew members killed when a medical ambulance helicopter crashed were memorialized Thursday at a church in Conway.
The service for the three employees of Air Evac Lifeteam drew a standing-room-only crowd of several hundred mourners to The Church Alive, an Assembly of God congregation. More than 100 people stood along the walls of the church sanctuary because all pews were filled.
"They gave the ultimate sacrifice while they were attempting to help someone else," Air Evac president and CEO Seth Myers told the crowd.
The Aug. 31 crash killed pilot Kenneth Robertson, flight nurse Kenneth Meyer Jr. and flight paramedic Gayla Gregory. The aircraft was not carrying a patient when it went down.
Uniformed paramedics, firefighters, police officers and soldiers assembled alongside family members and area residents.
Myers delivered the welcome, remarking on the large crowd and observing that Robertson, Meyer and Gregory would be missed by their communities. He said co-workers throughout the company had shared in the loss and that the service itself would help them deal with their grief.
Eulogies were given by family members and a video tribute was played, followed by a last call for the crew members and the retiring of colors.
An investigation of the crash is ongoing and its cause unknown.
Initial reports revealed the helicopter left a trail of parts for about a mile before it hit the ground, indicating it came apart in the air before crashing, a federal investigator said. Investigators said last week the main rotor separated from the aircraft and was found north of the main crash site, and the tail was found to the southwest.
The helicopter, a 1978 Bell 206, went down about 4 a.m. in Van Buren County near Scotland.