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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- 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