OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A witness reported seeing a flash in the sky before a medical helicopter crashed into the parking lot of an Oklahoma City nursing home, killing two people, according to a preliminary report released from the National Transportation Safety Board.
The Feb. 22 crash occurred shortly after takeoff and killed pilot Mark Montgomery and flight nurse Chris Denning. Paramedic Billy Wynne was critically injured.
The helicopter operated by Wichita, Kan.-based Eagle Med LLC took off from Integris-Baptist Medical Center about four minutes before the 5:42 p.m. crash. It was headed to Watonga, about 70 miles away, to pick up a patient going to an Oklahoma City hospital.
A man driving in the area told NTSB investigators he saw a “flash” in the sky in front of him and then witnessed the helicopter in rapid fall before it disappeared behind some buildings, according to the report released Wednesday.
“He then drove toward an area where smoke was emanating and saw that the helicopter was on fire in the parking lot of (the nursing home). He immediately assisted others . . . in pulling the surviving paramedic away from the burning aircraft,” the report said.
The report did not indicate what may have caused the flash.
Satellite data showed that the helicopter left the hospital and began a gradual climb on a northwesterly path toward Watonga. The data stopped approximately 3 minutes and 30 seconds into the flight, the report said.
An Eagle Med spokesman did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Integris-Baptist spokeswoman Brooke Cayot referred questions to Eagle Med, saying the hospital wouldn’t comment until the NTSB released its final report. That could take more than a year.
The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services has said Eagle Med had just received its three-year accreditation. That included an analysis of maintenance records of all its aircraft and crew.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.