Medical helicopter crashes in New Mexico; 3 dead - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Medical helicopter crashes in New Mexico; 3 dead

AP Photos by M.E. Sprengelmeyer, the Guadalupe County Communicator AP Photos by M.E. Sprengelmeyer, the Guadalupe County Communicator
NEWKIRK, N.M. (AP) — A medical helicopter flying to pick up a patient crashed Thursday into the side of a New Mexico hilltop, bursting into flames and killing all three crew members on board, authorities said.

The helicopter was flying from Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe to Tucumcari when it disappeared from radar at 2:48 a.m.

It went down near Newkirk along Interstate 40 about 135 miles east of Albuquerque and about 30 miles from Tucumcari.

Ranch workers found the wreckage on the rocky, northern side of a mesa after authorities asked them to look around the area.

"It crashed and burned," said ranch manager Phil Bidigan. "No survivors .... Everything burned except for the very end of the tail."

Hospital spokesman Arturo Delgado confirmed all three people on board were killed. Their identities were not immediately released, but he said the CareFirst crew was well-known at the hospital.

"These crew members were our colleagues, our friends and our neighbors," the hospital said in statement. "Our hearts, and our prayers, go out to the loved ones of these extraordinary individuals, who were committed to saving lives every single day."

The Federal Aviation Administration said the cause of the crash was unknown. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Bullhead City, Arizona-based TriState CareFlight LLC owned and operated the helicopter, said company marketing director John Cole, who was traveling to the crash scene and could not immediately comment further.

Bidigan said a ranch cowboy told he was awakened by a sound but went back to sleep because he didn't know what it was.

"When he got up he could see the flames," Bidigan said.
  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Mass school shootings mostly happening in small-town America

    Mass school shootings mostly happening in small-town America

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:34 AM EDT2018-05-22 04:34:14 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:48 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:48:05 GMT
    (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File). FILE - In this Friday, May 18, 2018, file photo, mourners wait for the start of a prayer vigil following a deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. If you want to know where mass school shootings ar...(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File). FILE - In this Friday, May 18, 2018, file photo, mourners wait for the start of a prayer vigil following a deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. If you want to know where mass school shootings ar...

    Look no farther than small-town and suburban America to know where mass school shootings are most likely to occur.

    Look no farther than small-town and suburban America to know where mass school shootings are most likely to occur.

  • The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

    The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:13 AM EDT2018-05-22 04:13:57 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:46 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:46:31 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this May 20, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. In emails obtained by The Associated Press, George Nader claims...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this May 20, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. In emails obtained by The Associated Press, George Nader claims...

    A top Trump fundraiser and a senior adviser to a UAE crown prince ran a secretive campaign, trading lobbying against Qatar for defense contracts from Gulf countries.

    A top Trump fundraiser and a senior adviser to a UAE crown prince ran a secretive campaign, trading lobbying against Qatar for defense contracts from Gulf countries.

  • Active shooting situation reported in Panama City, FL

    Active shooting situation reported in Panama City, FL

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 2:19 PM EDT2018-05-22 18:19:06 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:45 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:45:54 GMT

    The Walton County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that a suspicious death in Santa Rosa Beach, about 30 miles away, is connected to the situation.

    The Walton County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that a suspicious death in Santa Rosa Beach, about 30 miles away, is connected to the situation.

Powered by Frankly