Medical helicopter crashed responding to fatal accident in Butler County, sheriff says
MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - A medical helicopter crashed into powerlines after an attempt to land at the scene of a fatal car crash in Butler County on Tuesday morning.
All three crew members on the CareFlight helicopter suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to an area hospital, according to Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer.
It all started shortly after 4 a.m. when deputies responded to a crash involving two pickup trucks on U.S. 127 near Eaton Road in Milford Township.
A blue, 1998 Chevrolet Silverado heading east on Eaton Road entered the intersection and went into the path of a gray, 2013 GMC Sierra that was traveling north on U.S. 127, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
A rear passenger in the Chevrolet Silverado, a 69-year-old Richmond, Ind. woman, was ejected from the pickup truck and pronounced deceased at the scene, the release states.
Her name will be released once next of kin is notified.
First responders had to mechanically extricate the front seat passenger of the Chevrolet Silverado. The 43-year-old woman was taken to an area hospital with serious injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.
The other two people in the Chevrolet suffered minor injuries and also were transported to the hospital.
The driver of the second pickup truck was traveling alone and was not injured, sheriff’s officials say.
CareFlight, meanwhile, responded to transport the seriously injured female passenger, according to the sheriff’s statement.
Just before 5 a.m., however, “the helicopter crashed while attempting to land at the scene,” the sheriff’s news release states.
The Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team (START) is processing both crashes and will be working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in regard to the “helicopter crash,” the release read.
“[W]hen they come in, they are guided in, usually by the fire department, to tell them where to land,” Richard Jones said. “[I] don’t know if he didn’t see him. Our investigators have interviewed the people who were at the scene, the people in the helicopter [and] they interviewed witnesses. So, we’re gathering our information.”
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers responded to the helicopter crash at the request of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, according to OSP.
The scene is still very active and U.S 127 will remain closed for the next several hours, sheriff’s officials say.
The Butler County Engineer’s Office temporarily reopened Huston Road in Milford Township to assist with traffic flow during the emergency Eaton Road closure at U.S. 127.
Huston Road has been closed for multiple culvert replacements but will remain open until Wednesday morning at approximately 7:30 a.m.
Northbound Eaton Road traffic is urged to detour west on Taylor School Road. From there, go north on Huston Road, east on Ohio 73, and north on Huston Road.
Southbound traffic may reverse this route.
Initially, nearly 400 Butler Rural Electric customers nearby lost power as a result of the helicopter crash, but service has since been restored, according to the utility’s website.
A CareFlight representative released a statement to FOX19 NOW that described the incident as “a hard landing.”
“Early this morning, a CareFlight helicopter operated by Air Methods Corp. responding to a vehicle accident in Butler County contacted wires and experienced a hard landing. Two of the three crew members onboard the CareFlight helicopter have been treated for their injuries and released. A third is being evaluated. Air Methods has contacted the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration and will be working through the investigation process with these agencies. The safety of patients and crew is of the utmost importance to us. We are grateful that no one was seriously injured in this incident.”
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