Patient killed in medical helicopter crash identified

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 6/12/2013 5:25 pm Published: 6/11/2013 7:39 pm

FOX23 has learned the name of the patient that died when an Eagle Med helicopter crashed on Wednesday night.

Michael Wilson, 49, was killed when the chopper went down at the Choctaw Health Care Center in Talihina.

FOX23’s Ian Silver learned Wilson suffered a workplace injury and was being flown to a hospital in Tulsa for more treatment when the helicopter crashed trying to take off.

The flight nurse was taken to St. Francis in Tulsa in critical condition but has been stabilized. The medic and pilot suffered minor injuries and have already been released.

"When the crash happened the health care personnel in the emergency room were immediately on scene caring for and triaging the patients and the victims that were involved," said Brandy Griffin, with the Choctaw Nation Health Services.

It was a chaotic scene outside the ER at the center.

"We blocked off the roads to contain the scene, and contacted all the authorities," said Griffin.

Even as they scrambled to save lives, the danger wasn't gone.

"I know the wreckage of the helicopter was leaking fluids, but the hazmat team that arrived last night addressed that situation," she said.

It was a rare drama for this town of fewer than 1200 people.

"It's new territory. And I'm sure it's kind of a shock to our community, and things tend to get around," said Griffin.

So do the rumors, like that the sun got in the pilot's eyes and caused the crash, or that the helicopter clipped a light pole causing the wreck.

None of that is confirmed at this point. The FAA began its investigation Wednesday morning and the National Transportation Safety Board began its investigation Wednesday afternoon.

In the meantime, the Choctaw Nation is mourning, while still dealing with the shock.

"Chief Gregory Pyle has expressed his empathy and concern for the victims of the accident. And the thoughts and prayers from the Choctaw Nation are going out to the families," said Griffin.

FOX23 contacted Eagle Med, which is based in Wichita, to get more information on the crew and the condition of the flight nurse but have not yet heard back.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 6/12/2013 5:17 PM
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Realbad day. Condolences to friends and family
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