EagleMed Crash: Patient Killed, 3 Injured When Chopper Goes Down

Thursday, 13 Jun 2013 09:07 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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One person died and three others were injured after an EagleMed helicopter crashed in an Oklahoma parking lot shortly after takeoff Tuesday night.

The EagleMed helicopter had taken off from Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina, Okla., en route to Tulsa with one patient and three crewmembers on board. It went down in a parking lot about 20 yards from the hospital, according to KXII News 12.

The patient onboard, Michael David Wilson, 49, of Bethel, Okla., died in the accident.

The site has been secured so the National Transportation Safety Board can conduct an investigation.

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"It takes a while before we determine the cause of an accident," NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway told The Associated Press. "We don't look at the company, we look at issues. If there is something that reveals itself, we'll look at it."

The crash marked the third EagleMed helicopter accident in the past three years and sparked an evaluation of the Kansas-based company's accreditation.

Less than four months ago, an EagleMed helicopter crash-landed outside an Oklahoma City nursing home, killing two people onboard and critically injuring a third. Another EagleMed helicopter crashed into a field near Kingfisher, Okla., on July 22, 2010, killing the pilot and nurse and seriously injuring a paramedic.

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The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems will now examine the company's safety practices and determine if EagleMed is at fault for the crash.

"Currently, EagleMed is working with the NTSB and FAA," EagleMed spokesperson Robbie Copeland said in a statement. "We're helping them with their investigation by providing the information they need from us."

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