The helicopter had been dispatched to pick up a patient in Crabtree, Alaska, who had been injured in a traffic accident.
The three crew members were killed on impact, according to Van Buron County Coroner Dorothy Banscum. "I would say they might have seen it coming, but that was it," she said. "The helicopter was just melted and it was in pieces." The cause of the crash is under investigation.
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This crash is one of several that Air Evac Lifeteam has suffered, the most recent being in March, when three crew members were killed in western Tennessee. In 2008, an Air Evac helicopter crashed in an Indiana cornfield, killing three people. In 2007, an Air Evac helicopter crashed in Colbert County, Al, killing another three-member crew.
In July 2010 an Air Evac helicopter was forced to land near Tulsa, Oklahoma after the aircraft's hydraulics failed. No one was hurt in that incident.