EagleMed Releases Statement On Fatal Chopper Crash

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Authorities say two people are dead after a medical helicopter crashed in a central Oklahoma field. One person reportedly survived.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the
EagleMed helicopter had left Oklahoma City's Integris Baptist Medical Center to pick up a patient about 90 miles away at a hospital in Okeene on Thursday night.

It crashed about 8 p.m. near Kingfisher, which is about 50 miles
northwest of Oklahoma City.

EagleMed released the following statement from its Wichita office;

On July 22nd, 2010 at approximately 8:00 pm, tragedy struck the EagleMed family. It is with an extreme heavy heart and great deal of sorrow we confirm that a fatal accident occurred involving our Oklahoma City based A-Star 350 helicopter and crew.

The specific events and circumstances surrounding this terrible tragedy are still uncertain; however, it has been confirmed that two of our beloved family members have lost their lives in the accident.
The pilot and one member of the medical team were both confirmed fatalities at the scene of the accident. Al Harrison, a highly trained and experienced rotor wing pilot, had been employed with EagleMed for nearly ten years. Nurse Ryan Duke had joined the EagleMed medical team in Oklahoma City less than a year ago. Al and Ryan lost
their lives doing something they loved, and their loss is a tragic one felt throughout EagleMed and the air medical community. The second member of the medical team, Nurse/Paramedic Michael Eccard, was transported to OU Medical Center for treatment of injuries he sustained. No patient was on board the aircraft at the time of the accident.

EagleMed, the 2000 recipient of an AAMS Safety Award, has a history of dedication to the safety of both patients and staff. That is what makes this fatal accident an even more heart wrenching event.

This incident is receiving full review by the NTSB, FAA and other governmental agencies. EagleMed is and will continue to work with investigators in an effort to determine the cause of this horrible accident.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of Al, Ryan and Michael. More information will be provided as available.

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