McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

June 11, 2013

EagleMed helicopter from McAlester hospital crashes in Talihina

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — A helicopter that took off from McAlester has crashed in Talihina, the  McAlester News-Capital has confirmed.

The crash is believed to have occurred around 6:30 p.m. at the Choctaw Nation Indian Hospital in Talihina.

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

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

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 the 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.

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

 

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