Talihina Chopper Crash Kills Medical Patient - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Talihina Chopper Crash Kills Medical Patient


LATIMER COUNTY, OK -- The investigation has begun into an Oklahoma helicopter crash that killed one person and critically injured a local nurse.

Officials say the chopper had only been in the air for a few moments, when it went down. The helicopter was based in McAlester and was supposed to take a patient for life-saving help.

There were also three crew members on board, including one from our area who was seriously injured.

The chopper took off from the Choctaw Nation Health Care Center near Talihina on a life-saving mission. "The patient was on board and they were departing for Tulsa," says Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority deputy public information officer David Wharton.

Trauma patient Michael David Wilson, 49, of Bethel, Okla., was being taken from the emergency room to the hospital in Tulsa, with the help of three crew members on an EagleMed helicopter.

It was around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. "From what we understand it had been in the air for less than a minute or so," says Wharton.

The chopper had barely gotten into the air, when it crashed into the parking lot, killing the man they were trying to save, and critically injuring the flight nurse, who also works as a "PRN" or per-diem nurse at MCSO in Durant. She was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where she was upgraded to serious but stable condition.

Two other EagleMed crew members in McAlester, a pilot and medic, walked away unharmed. "There was some fuel spillage so we did have a hazardous materials team come in and assist us with that. Our local responders were able to contain that until the larger HAZMAT team arrived," says Wharton.

Now the FAA and NTSB will try to determine what caused the chopper to go down. The pilot and medic were treated and released at the Talihina hospital.

EagleMed tells us the nurse was taken on another helicopter to Tulsa. The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems put EagleMed's accreditation on hold, following the third crash in Oklahoma since 2010.