SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Two people have died after a medical helicopter crashed in the area of Bear Creek Road and Mountain Oaks Drive on Sunday evening, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
SCSO Chief Deputy Clay Hammac said there was a call to Shelby County 911 about a hiker who was experiencing a medical emergency. Hammac said it was decided to transport the hiker by Lifesaver, and Shelby County deputies assisted Lifesaver by securing a landing zone.
Air Methods Corporation wrote in a statement it was the Lifesaver 4 crew from Sylacauga who responded to the call. There were three crew members on the helicopter when it crashed upon landing, with pilot Marc Gann, 63, of Sylacauga, pronounced dead at the scene. A second crew member– 43-year-old nurse Samuel Russell of Goodwater– died at a hospital, while a third crew member remains hospitalized in critical condition. There was no patient on board when the crash occurred.
“Please please pray for our family at Life saver 4,” the Clay County Rescue Squad wrote on Facebook. “We are devastated over the accident that has occurred today. Please keep their families and co workers in your prayers in the coming days and months. We have suffered such a tremendous loss in our EMS family.
“We would like to ask everyone to join us in thoughts and prayers toward the crew and families of LifeSaver 4,” the Birmingport Fire Department posted on Facebook. “I have worked with them many times and they have always been the beacon of excellence.
Hammac said the hiker was transported to a hospital but separately from the crew. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency stated the crash happened at about 5:28 p.m. Hammac said the investigation will be led by the National Transportation Safety Board, with assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration.
“Our team will cooperate fully with their efforts to assess the cause of this unfortunate accident,” Air Methods Corporation wrote. “Privacy rights with regards to those on board the aircraft will be honored, and we will not be sharing any additional information at this time. Our top priority right now is providing the families and crew members impacted by this tragedy the support that they need.”
The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency is assisting with providing resources for the investigation. The SCSO posted on Facebook that Bear Creek Road between Mountain Oaks Drive and Forest Lake Boulevard will remain closed overnight and will likely be shut during Monday morning’s commute.