A hospital helicopter with the Le Bonheur Pedi-Flite crew on board crashed Tuesday morning, killing the pilot and two medical staffers. The chopper went down in Fayette County, after responding to a call to evacuate a sick child, reports CNN on Oct. 22.
The incident took place early this morning near Somerville, Tenn. about halfway between the flight's origination point in Memphis and the end destination of Bolivar.
Killed in the crash was pilot Charles Smith, 47, and two hospital workers, nurse Carrie Barlow, 43, and respiratory therapist Denise Adams, also 43.
“The helicopter was on its way to pick up a boy who was in renal failure at the Bolivar hospital. They planned to take him to Le Bonheur, but the helicopter never reached the destination. Once hospital officials learned about the incident they arranged for the boy to be driven to Le Bonheur in an ambulance,” says UPI.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Dr. Jay Pershad, medical director of Le Bonheur's air transport program, hailed his crew and the work they were known for.
“They have taken care of so many kids in their short lives,” Pershad said. “I can't tell you how incredibly difficult it is for the entire team.”