Thursday, March 25, 2010

Medical helicopter crashes in Memphis, 3 dead

Brownsville, TN March 25 2010 A medical helicopter used by area hospitals has crashed and three people have been killed.

The chopper went down near Brownsville during a severe storm this morning.

A witness told the Haywood County Sheriff's Department that he saw what he thought was a lightning strike and then a ball of fire at the time of the crash.

Hospital Wing lost contact with the pilot shortly before 6:00 a.m. The Eurocopter Astar (AS350B3) chopper was located using GPS tracking.

Pilot Doug Phillips and nurses Misty Brogdon and Cindy Parker were killed. Today is Parker's birthday.

"Hospital Wing" is used to transport patients and has several bases including Oxford, Memphis and Brownsville.

Statement from Hospital Wing: "A Hospital Wing helicopter crashed at approximately 6 a.m. this morning just east of Brownsville, Tenn. Three crew members were on board. No patients were on board. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are on the scene and the crash is under investigation.

Hospital Wing was founded in 1985 and is a non-profit air medical transport service with direct alliances with the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Baptist Memorial Hospital, The MED, St. Francis Hospital in Memphis and Crittenden Memorial Hospital in West Memphis, Arkansas.

"Nothing like this has ever happened in our history," said Allen Burnette, program director and Chief Operating Officer."

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