FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — An Eagle Mountain man who was the lone survivor of a midair helicopter crash here on Sunday died shortly after 10 a.m. Friday at the Flagstaff Medical Center.
James Taylor, 36, was an emergency nurse at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake as well as a part-time member of Life Flight medical staff.
Taylor was part of a medical team aboard a Bell 407 helicopter transferring a patient to Flagstaff Medical Center on Sunday when it collided with another, identical helicopter also performing a patient transfer. The incident, still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, occurred about a half-mile from the medical center in this north-central Arizona city. Six people, including two patients, died at the scene.
Reached by phone Friday, Taylor’s sister, who asked not to be identified, said her brother died doing what he loved.
“He loved serving others … and especially being paged for lifeflight duty,” his sister said. “He gave his life trying to save another … he truly was a hero.”
Taylor’s sister, a Salt Lake County resident, said her brother is survived by his wife and three young sons, and extended family, most of whom are Utah residents.
Taylor had been working at St. Mark’s only for a short time following 17 years of employment as a registered nurse at Intermountain Medical Center. He was also a member of the Utah Army Reserve and a Desert Storm veteran.
Taylor’s sister said that the family had not received any further information regarding the cause of the collision, but a voice-mail message on the Flagstaff Police Department information line indicated that a news conference on the accident was scheduled for July 8 at 9 a.m.
Funeral arrangements for Taylor are pending, but a fund for the family, the James Taylor Memorial Fund, has been established at Zion’s Bank.
July 6, 2008
James Taylor, an Eagle Mountain man who died as a result of a helicopter crash in Arizona, was not a member of Life Flight’s medical staff. He worked for Classic Lifeguard, which operated one of the helicopters involved in the crash. Incorrect information was included in Saturday’s Deseret News.