Woman Falls from Helicopter During Oklahoma Highway Patrol Flood Rescue

A woman rescued from a stranded pickup truck falls from a helicopter during a flood rescue in Oklahoma Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007.

Husband and wife rescued near Kingfisher, Oklahoma [MAP/SAT]. The woman’s husband was rescued following the woman’s rescue near Kingfisher, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol helicopter was piloted by Lt. Brian Sturgil while co-pilot Trooper Joe Howard gave guidance in inches and feet on how to safely get near the victims. The difficulty of the rescue included the open water without landmarks or references and the fact that the pilot could not see the victims directly.

Kingfisher Fire Chief Randy Poindexter was aboard the exterior of the rescue helicopter on the skids to give husband and wife (Bernice Kriptenbrink and Leroy Kriptenbrink) life vests and then lift them out of the swift floodwaters. The original plan was to use a basket, but the urgency of the danger of the rising waters meant Chief Poindexter had to grab the victims and lift them to a safe position on the skids. The husband and wife were rescued one-at-a-time, and each victim fell back into the water once. When the husband was brought to safety, both Leroy Kriptenbrink and Chief Randy Poindexter fell safely to the ground in exhaustion.

Overall flooding left 13 dead in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas over the weekend.