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Medical Helicopter Crashes, Killing Crew

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Georgetown, SCA medical helicopter crashed Friday night near Georgetown, killing three people. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there was evidence to indicate the helicopter's engine was still running when it went down. In a new conference Sunday, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said the helicopter had maneuvered around two areas of heavy rain and had encountered a third area of moderate rain when it crashed.

The helicopter had just dropped off a patient at a hospital in Charleston and was flying to Conway, about 90 miles to the northeast, when it crashed about 11:30 p.m., September 25th.

Helicopter pilot Patrick Walters, 45, of Murrells Inlet, flight nurse Dianna Conner, 42, of Florence and flight medic Randolph Dove, 39, of Bladenboro, N.C., died, Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson said. The crew had dropped off a patient at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston approximately two hours before the crash. No patients were on board. (According to the NTSB, most medical helicopter crashes happen when patients are not on board.)

Sumwalt also stated that at the time of the crash, the helicopter was flying under less stringent regulations because there was no passenger on board. "When a passenger is on board, a medical helicopter must operate to air charter standards, which have stricter requirements about weather conditions and flight and duty times, At the time of the crash, the helicopter was flying under less stringent regulations because there was no passenger on board. Sumwalt said when a passenger is on board, a medical helicopter must operate to air charter standards, which have stricter requirements about weather conditions and flight and duty times," Sumwalt said.

READ ABOUT Helicopter Crash LAWSUITS

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