A REACT Medical Helicopter crashed about 8:30 p.m. just south of the intersection of US 30 and IL 251 in Compton, Illinois. All three crew members on board were killed. No patients were on board.
The crew members were pilot Andy Olson; Flight Nurse Jim Dillow, R.N.; and Flight Nurse Karen Hollis, R.N.
The crew was on an assignment to pick up a patient at Mendota Community Hospital in Mendota –about 60 miles south of Rockford Memorial Hospital. Dispatch for the REACT helicopter received word from the pilot that they had run into “weather” and were returning back to Rockford Memorial Hospital. No further communications occurred with the helicopter.
The REACT program used a specially-equipped Bell BK-117 helicopter to transport patients (critically ill or injured individuals, including trauma patients, cardiac patients, orthopedic patients, pediatric patients, and high-risk mothers and infants) from regional hospitals or trauma sites in a 14-county region in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
REACT had completed more than 10,000 flights and 15,000 hours without an incident or accident since the program began in 1987. Investigation of the scene of the crash began Tuesday morning at daybreak.
REACT is the acronym for Regional Emergency Acute Care Transport.
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