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5 dead, including patient, in medical flight crash in Nevada

Medical Flight Crash
Posted at 11:22 PM, Feb 25, 2023

STAGECOACH, Nev. (AP) — All five people aboard a medical transport flight, including a patient, were killed in a plane crash Friday night in a mountainous area in northern Nevada.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s office said authorities began receiving calls about the crash near Stagecoach, Nevada, around 9:15 p.m. and found the wreckage two hours later. Stagecoach, a rural community home to around 2,500 residents, is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Reno.

Care Flight, which provides ambulance service by plane and helicopter, said the dead included the pilot, a flight nurse, a flight paramedic, a patient and a patient’s family member.

Barry Duplantis, president and CEO of the company, said Saturday afternoon that relatives of all five victims had been notified, the Reno Gazette Journal reported. “We send our deepest condolences to their families,” Duplantis said.

The crash occurred amid a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service in Reno for large swaths of Nevada, including parts of Lyon County.

The weather service said it was expecting heavy snow, wind gusts of up to 65 mph (105 kph) and periods of whiteout conditions between 4 a.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Sunday.

“It’s a pretty mountainous region,” Lyon County Sgt. Nathan Cooper said. “Especially with the weather being the way it is right now, it’s not very good.”

The National Transportation Safety Board said Saturday morning on Twitter that it is sending a seven-member team of investigators to the crash site. The NTSB is expected release more information Sunday at a news conference.

Care Flight identified the downed aircraft as a Pilatus PC-12 airplane. Federal Aviation Administration records show the aircraft was manufactured in 2002.

The company said in a statement that it is halting flights to focus on helping responding agencies, team members and the families.