EagleMed Crash Kills 1, Prompts Questions

    June 13, 2013
    Sean Patterson
    Comments are off for this post.

A medical helicopter crash killed a patient and injured a medical worker on Tuesday near Tulsa, Oklahoma.

According to Choctaw Nation Health Services, an investigation into the crash and the safety record of EagleMed, the company that owned the helicopter, is now underway. EagleMed is a medical transport company that operates around 20 different locations throughout the midwestern U.S.

The helicopter crashed on Tuesday night, less than 100 feet away from Choctaw Nation Healthcare Center (CNHCC) near Talihina, Oklahoma, where it had taken off from on the way to Tulsa. Though hospital emergency workers were nearby to treat the passengers, 49-year-old Michael Wilson, the patient on the flight, died. One member of the flight crew was critically injured, and was taken to a trauma center in Tulsa. The two other members of the crew were not seriously injured.

“Our staff responded extremely well to this unfortunate tragedy”, said Teresa Jackson, CNHCC CEO. “We engaged our disaster plan within moments of the accident, and the response from our staff as well as the local and state emergency personnel in the area was outstanding.”

The cause of the crash has yet to be determined, though the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Choctaw Nation law enforcement officials, and an Eagle Med safety team are all currently investigating the incident.

EagleMed has expressed its thanks to well-wishers during what it calls a “difficult time.”

EagleMed LLC

Thank you for the thoughts, prayers and concern for our crew at EagleMed.McAlester. Your support and love brings us comfort in this difficult time. Those planning to attend the 10th Anniversary event scheduled at EagleMed6.Tahlequah today, the event has been post-poned until further notice.

According to Tulsa’s KXII news station, this is the third EagleMed helicopter to have crashed in just the state of Oklahoma since 2010.

  • http://www.webpronews.com nonbeliever

    So does this mean if your illness does not kill you than Eaglemed will..

    • Donna

      When you consider how many flights they have made….then this is a small number that have crashed….they do a good job

    • Matt Bartnick

      EagleMed is a great company and is extremely safe. Accidents happen. Any time something likes this happens it will be portrayed to the public as “bad” but I assure you they work with very well-trained pilots and follow all safety guidelines put in place.

      So for the comment that stated “if your illness does not kill you than EagleMed will” is obtuse and very foolish. They have saved countless lives.

  • mdjackie

    Donna, Matt- you clearly have not heard or read the report from their first crash in 2010- that tragedy was 100% preventable. To have 2 more crashes by the same company in such short succession raises questions about safety regulation and overall policies,

    As a prior flight crew member myself, I have extreme concerns about this particular agency, who I interact with regularly, and feel that with this flight record they should be grounded pending a formal investigation. 3 crashes in 3 years is too many. I certainly will not request them to transport any of my patients until this issue is answered.

  • cod2476

    If this flight program should be grounded then all, let’s say, Ford vehicles need to be banned from being driven because they have been in accidents until an investigation is done to figure out why they are in wrecks. Accidents are called accidents for a reason and not ‘on purposes.’ They happen – doesn’t mean it’s the company or the pilots. They just happen. You can’t determine when something is going to go wrong. Just like with your car, your breaks could go out all of a sudden and you crash your car into a guard rail. No fault necessarily of anyone, couldn’t forsee it, therefore you can’t prevent it. Like the gentleman earlier wrote, they’re a good company and safely operate their vehicles and maintain them regulary, it’s just a big deal because they have been close together and more public than before. Other services have accidents and have had many more than 3. I can guarantee you that. I wouldn’t stop using EagleMed just because of something that is such a rarity in the medical flight world.