Patient, crew survive N.C. medical helicopter crash
The Life Force helicopter was severely damaged, and all aboard were transported to hospitals
The Associated Press
FRANKLIN, N.C. — A patient and three crew members survived when a medical transport helicopter crashed in North Carolina, authorities said.
Macon County 911 Communications Supervisor Todd Seagle said the helicopter went down moments after it declared an emergency around 7 p.m. Thursday, WLOS-TV reported.
Macon County Sheriff Brent Holbrooks said the EC-135 helicopter was traveling to Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, when it crashed in Macon County. Holbrooks confirmed all four people on the flight were alive, WLOS reported.
The aircraft was transporting a patient from a medical facility in Murphy, North Carolina. Three people involved in the crash were transported by ambulance to Mission Hospital with minor to moderate injuries and one was transported to Angel Medical Center for evaluation, Macon County Emergency Services Director Warren Cabe said.
The aircraft was severely damaged. Investigators were examining the wreckage to determine the cause of the crash, Cabe said.
Erlanger Health System in Tennessee, which operates LIFE FORCE medical transport helicopters, confirmed the crash of LIFE FORCE 6. The company's website said the helicopter operates out of Cherokee County, North Carolina, with a base radius of 150 miles (241 kilometers).
This was the first crash in the 34-year history of the LIFE FORCE program, Erlanger Health System said.