Two people are dead, and a third is critically injured, after an EagleMed helicopter crashed Friday morning between two buildings near NW Expressway and Council in Oklahoma City.
Pilot Mark Montgomery and nurse Chris Denning were killed. Medic Billy Wynne was injured and is hospitalized in critical condition.
The crash happened just before 5:45 a.m. on the northwest side of the city. Deputy Chief Mark Woodard with the Oklahoma City Fire Department says the helicopter, an AS350, was leaving Baptist Hospital and returning to its home base in Watonga when it crashed.
Neighbors heard a loud explosion and immediately called 911. Drivers in the area reported seeing smoke and flames just after the chopper went down. Witnesses say there was an explosion when the helicopter hit the ground, and a second explosion a few minutes later.
The helicopter crashed between St. Ann's Retirement Center and St. Ann's Nursing Home. The copter did not hit any buildings, and no one in those centers was hurt.
Crew members Montgomery, Denning and Wynne were the only people on board. Three nurses from St. Ann's Nursing Home rushed to help. They, along with people passing by, pulled Wynner from the wreckage just before the second explosion. It's believed Montgomery and Denning were killed on impact.
The medical examiner has removed the bodies of the two people killed from the crash scene. Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are at the site and inspecting the wreckage. The NTSB is also sending in a crew from Washington D.C. Oklahoma City Police will remain at the site overnight to make sure no one removes any evidence.
EagleMed information from the FAA
This is the second fatal EagleMed crash within three years. In July 2010, an EagleMed helicopter crashed in Kingfisher County, killing pilot Al Harrison and flight nurse Ryan Duke. Another crew member, Mike Eccard, survived the crash.
7/22/2011 Related Story: 2010 Eagle Med Crash Near Kingfisher Still Under Investigation
10/9/2010 Related Story: FAA Proposes Changes Following Deadly Medical Chopper Crash in Oklahoma