Medical Helicopter from Rockford Memorial Crashes in Northern Illinois Field; Victims Names Released
The pilot and two nurses flying in a REACT medical helicopter from Rockford Memorial Hospital were killed Monday night when the aircraft hit bad weather and crashed, multiple media sources are reporting.
ROCHELLE —Two nurses and a pilot were killed when the REACT medical helicopter they were flying in crashed at about 8:30 p.m. Monday in a field near Rochelle, the Northwest Herald is reporting.
The helicopter was flying from Rockford Memorial Hospital to Mendota to pick up a patient, the story said. Those killed include the pilot Andy Olesen, 65, and flight nurses Karen Hollis, 48, and Jim Dillow, 40, the Herald reports.
There were no patients on the helicopter when it crashed, and Olesen was an experienced pilot, the story stated.
The REACT helicopter encountered bad weather and intended to turn around and head home when it crashed, the Rockford Register Star is reporting.
Olesen, the pilot, worked for Air Methods Corp. of Englewood, Colo., the company contacted with Rockford Memorial. He was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam war when he served in the Army. He began flying with Air Methods in 1994, and planned to retire next week, the RRS story stated.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.