4 dead in Duke Life Flight helicopter crash in eastern NC
The North Carolina Highway Patrol says four people are dead in a Duke Life Flight helicopter crash in Perquimans County near Belvidere in eastern North Carolina. (WTVD)
Saturday, September 09, 2017 06:36PM
BELVIDERE, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Highway Patrol said four people are dead in a Duke Life Flight helicopter crash in Perquimans County near Belvidere in eastern North Carolina.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Eurocopter MBB-BK went down around 11:30 Friday morning near Swamp Road and Sandy Cross Road close to the Amazon US Wind Farm East wind turbine complex.
The Perquimans County Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation.
Following the incident, Duke Health officials issued this statement:
"With deep sorrow we can confirm that a Duke Life Flight helicopter crashed early this afternoon near Belvedere, North Carolina. We are in the process of directly confirming information related to this incident and will share more information as it becomes available."
Authorities said the helicopter was flying to Duke Medical Center from Sentara Albemarle Medical Center when it crashed.
Duke University Hospital President Kevin Sowers said they are mourning the loss of two staff nurses, a pilot, and a patient.
The Duke employees have been identified as R.N. flight nurses Kris Harrison and Crystal Sollinger and pilot Jeff Burke.
The helicopter and its crew were based at Johnston Regional Airport, airport officials said.
"Our county's leadership joins many others around the region and the state in expressing our great shock and sadness over today's tragedy," said Jeff Carver, chairman of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners. "Our hearts, minds and prayers are with the families of those who were on board the Duke Life Flight aircraft, and we offer them our condolences and support in the difficult days, weeks and months ahead."
To honor the deceased, Duke University lowered their flags Friday evening.
Duke University Hospital has grounded their Life Flight service until further notice.
Duke has a fleet of aircraft to transport patients in need of critical care.
The sheriff's office has yet to release the names of those involved or how the crash occurred.
However, Sheriff Shelby White said an eyewitness claims they saw smoke coming out of the chopper as it was hovering before it crashed.
DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Duke Health on Saturday released the names of workers who died in a medical helicopter crash in northeastern North Carolina on Friday.
The Duke Life Flight helicopter crashed in Perquimans County killing three crew members and a medical patient, the North Carolina Highway Patrol confirmed.
The helicopter crashed around 11:45 a.m. after leaving Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, authorities said.
The three workers who died were flight nurses Kris Harrison, R.N. and Crystal Sollinger, R.N. and, the pilot, Jeff Burke, officials said.
“The Duke University Hospital and entire Duke University family continues to grieve their loss,” Sarah Avery, Duke Health spokeswoman said in a news release Saturday.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived Saturday to investigate. Teams were formed to investigate the crash site.
The Highway Patrol said the helicopter went down in an area near Swamp Road and Sandy Cross Road, near the Belvedere community, which is near the Gates County line.
The helicopter and crew were based out of Johnston Regional Airport in Smithfield, officials confirmed.
Duke Life Flight has been based at Johnston Regional Airport for more than 10 years.
The NTSB is formally in charge of the on-going investigation.
Time: 11:30 LT
Eurocopter MBB BK 117C-2
Owner/operator: Air Methods Corp (AMC) opf Duke Life Flight
C/n / msn: 9474
Fatalities: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: near Belvidere, Perquimans County, NC - United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport: Sentara Albemarle Medical Center Heliport (NC98)
Destination airport: Duke University North Heliport (NC92)
Four died after an air ambulance helicopter accident near the Amazon US Wind Farm East wind turbine complex in Perquimans County, NC.
There was a pilot, two staff nurses and a patient on board.