Sons Remember Flight Medic Killed In Air Evac Crash

Steven Fitzgerald was the medic on board the doomed Air Evac helicopter. Two of his sons say the loss of their dad is a hole that can’t be filled.

Wednesday, January 24th 2024, 9:43 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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The family of one of the victims in Saturday’s medical helicopter crash shares more about his life.

Steven Fitzgerald was the medic on board the doomed Air Evac helicopter. Two of his sons say the loss of their dad is a hole that can’t be filled.

“He liked flying,” said Damian Fitzgerald, Steven Fitzgerald's son. “He cared about what he was doing.”

These are traits Damien and Nicholas Fitzgerald remember about their father as they still try to come to terms with his death. “Never in like a million years would I think that something like this would happen,” Damian said.

The flight medic died Saturday when the Air Evac helicopter he was working on crashed near Weatherford. His crew members pilot Russell Haslam and flight nurse Adam Tebben were also killed.

“Everybody thinks their parent is immortal and nothing can touch them,” said Nicholas Fitzgerald, Steven Fitzgerald's son. “He walked away from stuff that he shouldn't have been able to walk away from previously.”

Fitzgerald served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard for more than 20 years with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan where he served mostly as a medic. He also served many years as a paramedic with EMSA.

“That's just what he did, that's just what his job was, if he could, he was going to save you, and if he couldn't he was going to do the best of his ability,” Nicholas said.

His sons say he got his wings in November, certified to fly with patients aboard Air Evac. “He would wake up an hour and a half before his shift no matter what time his shift started and he starched his shirt every day,” said Nicholas. “He took pride in his appearance and what he did.”

Fitzgerald leaves behind a wife, four sons, and six grandchildren with one more on the way.

“If that's one thing I can say about my dad, it was that he loved spending time with his grandkids,” Damian said.

The family says the outpouring on social media is appreciated by those who knew him as a stranger.

“Seeing not just his community but like the people he directly impacted their lives and family,” Nicholas said about the posts. “I knew he had a large reach, I just didn't know how large of a reach,” Damian added.

The Oklahoma National Guard is also mourning the loss of Fitzgerald

“Steven dedicated his life to serving others both as a combat veteran in the Oklahoma Army National Guard and as an EMSA paramedic in his civilian career,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Mancino, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, our fellow Guardsmen, and first responders during this difficult time.” 

Visitation for family and friends will be from 3:00 – 5:00 P.M., Sunday, January 28, 2024, at the Eisenhour Funeral Home in Blanchard.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M., Monday, January 29, 2024, at First Baptist Church in Blanchard, Oklahoma.

Private interment will be held In the Blanchard Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Eisenhour Funeral Home. Online obituary and guestbook are available at www.eisenhourfh.com

Instead of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to EMS Success in his name. https://emssuccess.org/collections/donations

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