Patient Killed in Medical Helicopter Crash

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A patient onboard a medical helicopter died when it crashed shortly after takeoff from the Choctaw Nation Health Center in Talihina Tuesday (June 11).

Authorities have identified the patient as Michael David Wilson, 49, of Bethel, Okla. The man’s body has been sent to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s office, John Hobbs, Executive Director of Public Safety for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, said Wednesday evening.

The crash occurred on tribal lands, so Choctaw Nation Law Enforcement Officials will be coordinating the investigation into the cause of the accident, according to Lisa Reed, media director for the Choctaw Nation.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board Choctaw Nation Law Enforcement and EagleMed Safety Review Team were onsite Wednesday to determine what caused the helicopter to crash.

Police, firefighters and emergency crews responded to the scene of the helicopter crash at about 6:30 p.m., according to a hospital spokesperson.

A flight nurse who was critically injured is being treated at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, according to David Wharton, chief risk officer with Choctaw National Health Services.

Wharton said two flight crew members were treated at the Choctaw Nation Health Center and released. Wharton said HIPAA laws prevented him from releasing the name of the person killed and those injured.

Air medical transportation company EagleMed owned the helicopter, which was on the way to Tulsa. A Hazardous Materials team was called to clean up the fuel spill from the wreck.

The crash was the second involving an EagleMed helicopter this year.  Another EagleMed Helicopter crashed in Oklahoma City in February.  Two people were killed and another critically injured in that crash.