Medical helicopter crashes in Texas, killing 4

June 8, 2008 6:18:24 PM PDT
A medical helicopter on its way to a Houston hospital crashed in a national forest early Sunday, killing all four people aboard, authorities said. Rescue crews struggled to find the wreckage in the dense Sam Houston National Forest. The cause was being investigated.

The PHI Air Medical helicopter was on its way from a Huntsville hospital when a missed check-in with dispatchers raised concern, PHI spokesman Jonathan Collier said. The chopper was found about 10 miles from where it had taken off, he said.

"This is a devastating loss," Collier said.

Killed were flight nurse Jana Bishop, pilot Wayne Kirby and flight paramedic Stephanie Waters, all PHI employees. The name of the patient on board and the medical emergency involved were not immediately released.

The crash happened about 2:45 a.m., said Ronald Herwig, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. Federal investigators were headed to the crash site, about 70 miles north of Houston.


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