Medical copter crash in Oklahoma kills 2, hurts 1

OKLAHOMA CITY — A medical helicopter crashed-landed outside of an Oklahoma City nursing home early Friday, killing two people onboard and injuring a third who was pulled from the burning wreckage, officials said.

Only the flight team was onboard when the helicopter crashed while headed from Oklahoma City to Watonga, 70 miles away, to pick up a patient, said Fire Department Battalion Chief Marc Woodard. No one on the ground was seriously injured or killed.

A woman and man in the helicopter were killed, but nursing home workers were able to pull the lone survivor from the wreckage, and he was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Woodard said.

Witnesses said there were two explosions.

Rachel Njafuh said when she arrived for work at St. Ann Nursing Home, flames and smoke were pouring from the wreckage.

“My colleagues pulled a man from the (helicopter) just before a second explosion,” she said.

Oklahoma City only got a dusting of snow from the large storm system that has been moving eastward through the nation’s midsection this week. Woodard said the skies were clear Friday morning when the helicopter crash-landed about 100 feet from the front door of the nursing home in the northwest of the city.

“I think the pilot did a miraculous job landing it where he did,” Woodard said. “It’s 65 feet from a nursing home on one side and 150 feet from a retirement village on the other.”

Federal Aviation Administration investigators were at the scene within hours, combing through the wreckage of the helicopter’s charred remains for clues as to the cause of the crash.

One person on the ground suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene, said Lara O’Leary, a spokeswoman with Emergency Medical Services Authority.

The helicopter belonged to EagleMed LLC, a Kansas-based medical transport company, O’Leary said.

In July 2010, an EagleMed helicopter crashed in a field in Kingfisher, about 50 miles northwest of Oklahoma. The helicopter’s pilot and a nurse on board the aircraft were killed in the crash.

On that flight, the EagleMed helicopter was headed from Oklahoma City to pick up a patient at a hospital 90 miles away. The National Transportation Safety Board has not yet released a probable-cause report from the 2010 crash.

More in Local News

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

Street-legal ATVs approved for some roads near Sultan

Supporters foresee tourism benefits. Opponents are concerned about injury and pollution risks.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

5 teens in custody in drug-robbery shooting death

They range in age from 15 to 17. One allegedly fatally shot a 54-year-old mother, whose son was wounded.

Most Read