A medical helicopter crashed Tuesday in a remote wooded area on its way to pick up a patient, killing all three crew members, authorities say. Survival Flight medical transportation reported around 7:20am Tuesday losing communication with a helicopter flying from the Mount Carmel Hospital in Grove City to pick up a patient from a hospital in Pomeroy, the Ohio State Highway Patrol says. Authorities located wreckage nearly three hours later in rugged terrain near the community of Zaleski, about 75 miles southeast of Columbus, the AP reports.
The helicopter broke apart in a remote area connected only by logging trails, says Highway Patrol Lt. Robert Sellers. Other state and local authorities helped at the crash site in Vinton County. All three crew members were from Ohio: pilot Jennifer Topper, 34, of Sunbury and flight nurses Bradley Haynes, 48, of London, and Rachel Cunningham, 33, of Galloway. "This is heartbreaking, especially when you have fellow first responders who are flying a mercy mission to help somebody else out," Sellers told reporters. The helicopter was a Bell 407, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro says. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will have investigators at the scene, he says.(On Christmas Eve, a helicopter crash killed a Mexican power couple.)