Public memorial planned for crew of medical helicopter crash

Pilot Jennifer L. Topper and and flight nurses Bradley J. Haynes and Rachel L. Cunningham were killed in a crash while en route to pick up a patient


Holly Zachariah
The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

A public memorial service will be held in Grove City Wednesday for the three-person crew killed in the medical helicopter crash in southeastern Ohio earlier this week.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement and Healthcare Communities throughout the State of Ohio and across the Country for the tremendous outpouring of support, love, and prayers," Andy Arthurs, vice president of EMS services for Survival Flight, wrote in a statement.

Killed in the crash were pilot Jennifer L. Topper, 34, of Sunbury; and flight nurses Bradley J. Haynes, 48, of London, and Rachel L. Cunningham, 33, of the Far West Side.

The public memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at Grove City Church of the Nazarene, 4770 Hoover Road.

The Survival Flight helicopter had left Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital and was en route to pick up a patient by request at Holzer Meigs hospital in Pomeroy in Meigs County. Authorities lost contact with the helicopter, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol later said it went down about 6:55 a.m. on Jan. 29 in Zaleski State Forest. It took several hours for crews to find the wreckage.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

Two other medical-helicopter companies had turned down the flight request from Holzer because of snowy weather conditions.

The Press Democrat newspaper in Santa Rosa, Calif., said that Topper was a U.S. Navy veteran — where she had been a rescue swimmer — and a California native.

Haynes, a firefighter/paramedic who had worked for several central Ohio fire departments, was from London. His funeral is set for Monday there at St. John's Lutheran Church.

Arrangements for Topper and Cunningham were unknown.

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©2019 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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