Saturday, October 24, 2009

NTSB: 3 killed in medical helicopter collide in SC

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (AP) — A medical transport helicopter that was smashed last year crashed in coastal South Carolina, killing all three people on board, authorities said Saturday.

The company that owned the helicopter, Addison, Texas-base Omniflight, said 45-year-aged pilot Patrick Walters of Murrells Inlet; 42-year-old flight nurse Diana Conner of Florence; and 39-year-old paramedic Randolph Claxton Dove of Bladenboro, N.C., died in the Friday night collide.

National Transportation security Board investigators were en route to the prospect Saturday. Agency spokesman Peter Knudson says no patients were on board the helicopter, which had dropped off a patient at about 9:35 p.m. Friday in Charleston, about 60 miles southwest of Georgetown County.

In a announcement, the company confirmed that the American Eurocopter AS350B2 took off from Charleston around 11 p.m. Friday and was headed to Conway, a city about 50 miles north of Georgetown.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the pilot last radioed air traffic manage at 11:05 p.m., saying the crew was about four miles from an airport close to Charleston and had it in sight.

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