EASTLAND, Texas - A CareFlite Helicopter crashed in Eastland County Sunday morning while traveling to pick up a patient. Three people were injured and, as of Monday, are in the intensive care unit at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.
"When we responded to the scene we found 3 of the occupants--which were all part of the CareFlite crew. They were out of the helicopter, on the ground--all of them had injuries," Sgt. David Foster with the Department of Public Safety said.
First responders arrived at the crash site--three miles south of Eastland and a quarter of a mile east of the intersection of Texas Highway 06 and County Road 309--at about 9:30 a.m.
The engine was still running when they arrived and a small fire had ignited. Responding firefighters, who came from all over the county, were able to prevent the engine from exploding.
"They did an excellent job and were able to get the fire out and we were actually able to get the engine put out by putting water in the exhaust," Foster said.
The pilot, Scott Wallace of Fort Worth, and the two medics, Teresa Campbell of Granbury and Rhett Draehn of Frisco, were flying from Granbury in Hood County to pick up a patient in Eastland County. The pilot was trying to divert to the Eastland County Airport due to limited visibility caused by stormy weather.
Foster said the people involved in the crash were all conscious and able to talk with authorities. He said they will likely have broken bones at the very least and one suffered some head trauma.
All things considered, Foster said they were all very lucky.
"You can see that there's power lines--some high voltage lines--apparently the pilot saw those, he did an excellent job in avoiding those. This could have possibly turned out a lot worse than it was."
There is no official word on the cause of the crash but the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. Investigations take several months to complete, according to an FAA spokeswoman.