Wednesday, October 23 2013 11:13 AM EDT2013-10-23 15:13:46 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The National Transportation Safety Board began their investigation Tuesday afternoon into the medical helicopter crash that killed three people near Somerville. NTSB investigator Ralph Hicks,More >>
The National Transportation Safety Board began their investigation Tuesday afternoon into the medical helicopter crash that killed three people near Somerville. More >>
Tuesday, October 22 2013 6:40 PM EDT2013-10-22 22:40:25 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The medical community remembers three crew members as heroes who lost their lives after a deadly medical helicopter crash Tuesday morning. Charles Smith, Carrie Barlow, and Denise Adams diedMore >>
The medical community remembers three crew members as heroes who lost their lives after a deadly medical helicopter crash Tuesday morning.More >>
Tuesday, October 22 2013 6:01 PM EDT2013-10-22 22:01:11 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Neighbors are processing the news of a medical helicopter crash near their small town of Somerville, Tennessee Tuesday morning.It was around 6:30 a.m. when Sherri Morris heard what she describedMore >>
Neighbors are processing the news of a medical helicopter crash near their small town of Somerville, Tennessee Tuesday morning.More >>
FAYETTE COUNTY, TN -
(WMC-TV) - The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating after a medical helicopter crashed Tuesday morning, killing all three people on board.
Hospital Wing pilot Charles Smith, Pedi-Flite nurse Carrie Barlow, and Pedi-Flite respiratory therapist Denise Adams were on their way to pick up a patient from a hospital in Bolivar when the helicopter went down near Somerville, TN.
"It's a sad day for Le Bonheur, we have lost two of our associates, a registered nurse and a respiratory therapist," said Le Bonheur Children's Hospital President and CEO Mary Armour.
The names of the victims were initially withheld pending notification of their families.
"Several of them have small children and we want to give them every opportunity to have a chance to have that discussion," added Armour.
"This is an incredibly talented group of professionals who rescues critically ill and injured children for a 130 mile radius and brings them to Le Bonheur," said Jay Pershad, M.D., Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. "We do this every day, but this is an incredibly sad day for us."
According to Pershad, the hospital does 400 flights each year transporting sick and critically injured children to the hospital. He says the family members the hospital lost in the crash Tuesday are heroes who put their lives on the line each day.
He continued, "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and I ask you all to respect their privacy and pray for them and pray for their families. I know they are in a better place, and have taken care of so many kids in their short lives that I can't tell you how incredibly difficult it is for the entire team."
"Lots of people count on us to go out and rescue children wherever they are," Armour explained. "Ped-Flite is like the cavalry, going out into the community and surrounding areas. Our families often tell me that once the Ped-Flite team shows up, they know they're going to be taken care of."
Pershad added that the people at Le Bonheur are "all professionals" and they still have a responsibility and operations at the hospital will go on.
The pilot of the medical helicopter was employed by Hospital Wing.
"It is a saddened day for us," said Hospital Wing CEO Bill Conway. "We did lose a pilot in that crash ... It saddens me more than you know. It is a personal friend of mine. All three of these crew members are personal friends of mine, they're a very close knit family here at Le Bonheur and with our crews at Hospital Wing."
Here is more information about each of the victims, as provided by Le Bonheur Children's Hospital:
Carrie Barlow, a 43-year-old nurse on Le Bonheur Children's Hospital's Pedi-Flite team, began her career at Le Bonheur in January of 2012. She worked as a nurse in West Tennessee for 13 years. Prior to joining the Le Bonheur team, she served as a neonatal intensive care nurse for Lauderdale Community Hospital in Ripley, Tenn., and Jackson-Madison County General in Jackson, Tenn. Carrie lived in Halls, Tenn., with her husband, Keith, and is the mother to three children.
Denise Adams, a 43-year-old respiratory therapist on Le Bonheur Children's Hospital's Pedi-Flite team, joined Le Bonheur as a respiratory therapist in August of 2003 She joined the Pedi-Flite team in July 2005 and has served the team as a respiratory therapist for the past eight years. Denise lived in Arlington, Tenn., with her husband, Rodney, and is the mother to three children.
Charles Smith, a 47-year-old pilot, began his career at Hospital Wing in 2012. He retired from the aviation unit of the Memphis Police Department in 2012, after 25 years of service. Charles and his wife, Chi, lived in Eads, Tennessee, with their two sons.
Emergency crews had to bring in special equipment to access the crash site because of the muddy conditions.
Tuesday, October 22 2013 7:50 PM EDT2013-10-22 23:50:45 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Le Bonheur Children's Hospital CEO Mary Armour said in a news conference Tuesday morning, "We just can never expect it to be this kind of risk when you come to work in the morning." The medicalMore >>
The medical helicopter crash that killed three people near Somerville, TN is not the first crash that has happened in the Mid-South in recent years.More >>