Medflight confirms it turned down request before Survival Flight crash

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — MedFlight confirmed Wednesday that it turned down a patient transfer request due to weather before the crash of a Survival Flight helicopter that killed three people Tuesday morning.

According to MedFlight President and CEO Tom Allenstein, MedFlight received a request to transfer a patient from the Holzer-Meigs Emergency Room in Pomeroy at 6 a.m. Tuesday. The pilot, working with the aviation operator, declined the flight due to weather conditions being below their program’s weather minimums.

“Each helicopter ambulance service has their own protocols for making decisions about whether it is appropriate to fly under given conditions,” said Allenstein

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a crash involving a Survival Flight helicopter was reported around 7 a.m. Tuesday in Brown Township, Vinton County. The helicopter was on the way to the Holzer-Meigs Emergency Room in Pomeroy.

The highway patrol identified the victims as pilot Jennifer L. Topper, 34, of Sunbury and flight nurses Bradley J. Haynes, 48, of London and Rachel L. Cunningham, 33, of Galloway.

The National Transportation Safety Board is now the lead investigative agency for that crash. An investigator for the agency was back in the wooded area Wednesday morning working to determine what caused the crash.

A spokesperson for the NTSB said that investigations involving fatalities and other investigations currently take between 12 and 24 months to complete. A preliminary report could be issued within a few weeks.

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