Gore open after helicopter crash, cause under investigation - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Gore open after helicopter crash, cause under investigation

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON (KSWO) - Gore Boulevard is back open after being closed for almost 12 hours because of a medical helicopter crash landing in front of Comanche County Memorial Hospital on Thursday. The cause of that landing is under investigation. The company, "Survival Flight", has been in service in Lawton for just four days. They recently partnered with Comanche County Memorial, and have a base on their new emergency center.

The crew of 4 were coming back from taking a patient to Oklahoma City around 6 a.m. Survival Flight officials say as they got closer to the building, something went wrong, causing the pilot to make that emergency landing. The pilot and 3 crew members were not hurt.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board incident database, Survival Flight has no reported accidents or crashes like this since they started in 2010.

The helicopter hit no power lines or buildings, but the helicopter rotors clipped a car with a woman inside it as the aircraft was going down. She told 7NEWS she was terrified in that moment. S brick fence that was hit. It's attached to a rental home that is unoccupied.

Now, the company is left picking up the pieces, and trying to figure out what went wrong.

"We have never had this happen," VP of EMS services, Survival Flight Andy Arthurs. "You never want to speculate. It's an aircraft. There is a lot of things that go on in flight and you just don't know until they have gotten down the road with their investigation."

Arthurs says they couldn't predict what happened this morning in front of Comanche County Memorial Hospital.

"Do you prepare for this? Best you can,” said Arthurs “You think through it. You know that the first thing you need to do when something like this happens is take care of your folks. Take care of the patients should there happen to been some on board, which there was not in this aircraft. But our preparedness in Survival Flights, since the call came in early this morning, is to take care of our people."

The company's helicopter that made the crash landing is a Bell 407. Survival Flights boast that it is the safest in the world. According to National Transportation Safety Board, in the past twenty years, that model has had 100 reported crashes or accidents. While officials investigated what made this aircraft go down so suddenly, traffic piled up around the closed off Gore Boulevard.

"It's making me late for school," said a student on his way to school.

Leaving drivers trying to find another way to get where they are going.

"I ended up having to go down Sheridan, all the way down Cache, and then circle back around," driver Anthony Grieve.

Local taxi drivers also took different route to avoid Gore Boulevard between Northwest 31st and 38th street.

"I mean it's a little frustrated. It’s not bad, you know. If you know your way around town you can get around them and everything."

The crashed chopper is out of the street. It was hauled away around 4:30 Thursday afternoon. Survival Flight officials say because the helicopter is out, they are working on getting a replacement in so there is no disturbance in service.

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