A medical helicopter crashed Wednesday night in a western suburb of Chicago killing all aboard, three crew members and a 13-month-old patient being transported to the citys Childrens Memorial Hospital.
The helicopter was operated by Air Angels, a subsidiary of Santa Rosa, Calif.-based REACH Medical Holdings. Pilot Del Waugh, 69, registered nurse William Mann, 31, and paramedic Ron Battiato, 41, died in the accident, the company said. The child was Kirstian Blockinger of Leland, Ill., according to police in Aurora, Ill., where the helicopter crashed into a cornfield just before midnight.
The patient was being transported to 247-bed Childrens Memorial from 25-bed Valley West Community Hospital in Sandwich, Ill. Police believe the craft clipped a wire supporting a radio-station tower. (For a longer version of this story, please click here, and for more on other air ambulance crashes, see Flying in the face of danger.) -- by Gregg Blesch