McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Breaking News

June 11, 2013

Talihina hospital reports one dead in crash of EagleMed helicopter from McAlester

McALESTER — A spokesperson at the Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina says that one of the four individuals aboard a helicopter that crashed Tuesday night did not survive.

Brandi Griffin, a public relations officer at the hospital, said around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday that two of the people on board were injured, one was critically injured and another person on board had died.

Names of the injured and the person reported to have died were not being released Tuesday night.

McAlester Regional Health Center CEO David Keith confirmed that the helicopter had taken off from the McAlester hospital enroute to Talihina, but had few other details available around 9:40 Tuesday night.

The crash occurred around 6:30 p.m., Griffin said.

Personnel from the Choctaw Tribal Police, the Latimer County Sheriff’s Department, the Latimer County Fire Department and the Talhina Police Department were among those at the scene following the accident, which occurred on Indian Land.

Robbie Copeland, the director of public relations and marketing for EagleMed, also confirmed the crash. He said  four people were on board: A nurse, a paramedic, a pilot and a patient.

The crash occurred shortly after the helicopter picked up a patient at the hospital, he said. Copeland said he was told the crash occurred near the hospital shortly after takeoff.

Karen Shoemaker, a dispatcher with the Talihina Police Department, told the News-Capital the crash occurred in the parking lot, near the ER.

Copeland said he did not want to release the name of the crew at the time and he did not have the name of the patient available.

He said at the time that three injured members of the flight crew were flown by medical helicopter to another hospital, where two were treated and released. A third member of the crew was in critical condition Tuesday night, he said.

“The patient was taken into the Talihina hospital and treated,” he said.

At the time Copleland spoke with the News-Capital Tuesday night, he said he did not have a report of a fatality. The News-Capital was unable to reach him later after hearing from the hospital in Talhina that one person did not survive the crash,

Copeland said he did not have the information available at the time about whether the flight crew lived in McAlester, but they were definitely working out of McAlester on Tuesday.

The helicopter that crashed was an EagleMed Eurocopter

Copeland said he had no further information available around 9:40 p.m. Tuesday.

The Tuesday night crash at Talihina marked the second crash of an EagleMed helicopter this year. Two people were killed and another critically injured following an EagleMed crash in Oklahoma City in February.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com

 

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

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