Three people were killed on Monday when a medical helicopter crashed in Rochelle, Illinois.
The pilot, Andy Olson, and flight nurses, Jim Dillow and Karen Hollis, were flying from Rockford Memorial Hospital to Mendota Community Hospital in order to pick up a patient, CLTV reported. The helicopter, registered to Rockford Memorial Hospital, crashed into a corn field about 70-80 miles west of Chicago at about 8:30 p.m., and was completely destroyed. "We had debris scattered hundreds of feet throughout the field," said Lee County Sheriff John Varga. There were no patients on board the craft at the time. Rockford Memorial Hospital spokesman Wester Wuori released a statement of condolences. "At Rockford Health System, our hearts are heavy," he said. "We grieve the loss of three heroes who dedicated their careers to serving others." Police reports indicate that witnesses deduced the helicopter was in trouble before crashing. "No one saw it go down. What we basically got was a phone call about an aircraft flying low," Varga said. "One of the farmers in the area actually spotted the wreckage, and that's where we're at right now." The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash with help from the Federal Aviation Administration and Illinois state police.