3 dead in medical helicopter crash near DeWitt

DEWITT, Ark. (KTHV) - A Pafford Air One medical helicopter crashed early Sunday morning in DeWitt, killing all three people on board.

The victims have been identified as 26-year-old John Auld III “Trey” of Shreveport, 46-year-old Michael Bollen of Hot Springs, and 61-year-old James Lawson Spruiell of Sulligent, Alabama. Auld is a flight paramedic, Bollen was the pilot and Spruiell was the flight nurse.

According to a release from Arkansas County Sheriff Todd Wright, the crash happened during a response from the helicopter's station in Pine Bluff to Helena Regional Medical Center.

It's unclear what exactly caused the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board is in its early stages of the investigation.

Dustin Ross, Director for Pafford Air One said in a statement, "We are all devastated and profoundly saddened by the tragic loss of these valued EMS colleagues and friends. We will continue to try and comfort the crew's families as well as everyone in our employ."

Air Methods released the following statement on Monday:

"We received tragic news late last night that our air medical helicopter based in Pine Bluff Arkansas went down east of Pine Bluff. What we know at this time is that the crash claimed the lives of three crew members; they were on the first leg and there were no patients on board the aircraft. We are saddened by this news, and our hearts go out to the three crew members and their loved ones. We will not release the names of the victims at this time to respect the privacy of their families. We appreciate the outpour of support; this is a very difficult time for the entire Air Methods and the EMS community. The accident is currently under investigation by the FAA and NTSB, and Air Methods will support their work in every way possible. It’s important that we let the FAA and NTSB do their jobs."

 

 

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