Three reported dead in Oneida County Air Ambulance crash
As reported by our sister newspaper-The Rhinelander Star Journal;
Oneida County Sheriff Chief Deputy Dan Hess has confirmed the deaths of all three individuals aboard the Ascension air ambulance helicopter, which went down in a wooded area west of USH 51 in the Blue Lake Road area in the town of Hazelhurst Thursday night.
Hess said the National Transportation Safety Board will be on site this afternoon.
The last known contact with the pilot was at 10:55 p.m. Oneida County dispatch received a 911 call about 11:22 p.m. Hess said deputies located the crash site roughly 1 a.m. Friday morning.
This afternoon, Ascension Wisconsin Public Relations Manager Tom Weaver released the following joint statement on behalf of Air Methods-Air Medical Transport and Ascension Wisconsin:
“We are deeply saddened and mourning the loss of three teammates who were aboard the air medical helicopter that went down in Hazelhurst, Wisconsin on April 26,” the statement reads. “Our heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to the families and friends of the crew onboard. We will not release any names at this time to respect the privacy of their families.”
The accident is currently under investigation by the NTSB and FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).
“We will support their work in every way possible,” according to the statement. “In addition, we have made the decision to suspend operations of our air and ground medical transport units until we determine when it is appropriate to resume operations. We are working with our EMS partners and medical transportation colleagues in the region to meet the needs of patient transport.
“We would like to thank the dedicated Emergency Response professionals in our community who have been responding to this incident.”
According to Weaver, the Air Ambulance involved in the crash was based out of Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff and is one of two units operated by Ascension and Air Methods. The other unit being based out of Stevens Point. The units serve all Northern Wisconsin Ascension facilities including Good Samaritan Hospital of Merrill. All air and ground transport operations are suspended until further notice.