Fla. crash kills doc getting heart for transplant

MIAMI (AP) - December 26, 2011

The Mayo Clinic says Dr. Luis Bonilla and procurement technician David Hines were on their way to a University of Florida hospital in Gainesville to retrieve a heart for a transplant in Jacksonville when the helicopter went down early Monday.

Mayo Clinic spokesman Layne Smith says the heart cannot be used in another transplant because its viability expired. Smith says the patient who had been scheduled to receive the heart continues to wait for a new organ.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the helicopter crashed about 12 miles northeast of Palatka. The pilot also was killed.

The National Transportation Safety Board also was investigating.

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