An Air Angels, Inc. Bell 222 Helicopter en route to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago from Valley West Community Hospital in Sandwich, Illinois crashed in a field in Aurora early Thursday morning between midnight and 1:00 a.m.
The medical helicopter was transporting a 1-year-old girl with epileptic seizures when the airport dispatchers lost contact with the helicopter crew. Aurora Police contacted Air Angels when they found the helicopter had damaged a radio tower for WBIG-1280 AM, just northwest of the intersection of Eola Road and Liberty Street in Aurora and crashed on the east side of Eola Road (about 75-100 yards). The patient, pilot, flight nurse and paramedic employed by Air Angels were killed in the crash. The helicopter was reported to be well-involved with fire upon arrival of police and fire department first responders. Aftermath images show impact marks in the field with heavy destruction of the helicopter, which was reported to be lying in a field on the east side of Eola Road — across the road from the radio tower. Very little of the helicopter structure remains and the concentrated crash scene debris is scattered over a 75 square-foot area around the impact site. Victims were not found inside the destroyed helicopter. A witness reported that debris was scattered as far north as Indian Trail and as far south as New York Street on either side of Eola Road. The Air Angels helicopter was based at Clow Airport in Bolingbrook.
Air Angels medevac helicopter crash victims …
Patient Kirstian Blockinger, 13 months-old, lived in Leland, Illinois
According to Aurora Fire Department Assistant Chief John Lehman, the radio tower is reported to be 750 feet tall appears to be out of plum by about 15 feet at the top. There is concern that there is extra stress on the guy-wires, therefore sixteen units of a nearby condominium building were evacuated as a precaution. It is unknown if lights were functioning before the crash, but the lights are not functioning after the crash and a no-fly-zone has been declared near the tower today.
Aurora Police Department and the NTSB are involved in the investigation. Traffic is re-routed in the area in order to protect accident scene evidence.
Video of Air Angels crew at work at an accident scene (earlier video file from Todd Sherman). According to videographer Todd Sherman, the front helicopter is the same medevac chopper that crashed in Aurora early Thursday.