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Four Die in Alabama after US Air Ambulance Helicopter Crashes


In another tragic air ambulance crash, four people including the patient have died in Alabama. The aircraft, a Eurocopter AS350, went down minutes after taking off and crashed into a heavily wooded area. It was operated by Haynes, an Alabama-based US air ambulance company.

Crash Killed All Passengers On-board

The victims of the crash have been identified as Chad Hammond, the pilot; Stacey Cernadas, the flight nurse; Jason Snipes, the flight medic; and Zach Stickland, who was the patient. According to James Brown, the Deputy Director of Coffee County Emergency Management Agency, Strickland had been involved in a car accident on March 26th. He had been knocked out and had broken his leg.

Brown stated that the air ambulance picked up the patient from the car crash site and crashed almost immediately after take-off. He mentioned that the crash occurred within three minutes after the helicopter took off. The aircraft was found just about four miles from the pick-up site. The helicopter was headed for a hospital in Montgomery and was reported missing on March 27th at around 12:17AM. The crash was discovered only after about seven hours. The exact cause of the tragedy is still not completely clear.

Investigations on US Air Ambulance Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the incident and should be issuing preliminary reports soon. A Federal Aviation Administration agent was also found attending the scene.

Searchers had to make use of bulldozers to uncover the crash site with heavy rain and fog making their job much more difficult. These climatic conditions prevented them from using a search aircraft to look for the crash.

The US air ambulance was based at the Troy Regional Medical Center, which has issued a statement mourning the lost lives. This tragic incident marked the second helicopter crash in under a week in the south-east Alabama area.

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