Medical Helicopter Crash Kills 3 In North-Central Iowa - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Medical Helicopter Crash Kills 3 In North-Central Iowa

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  • Statement From Brother Of Russ Piehl

    Statement From Brother Of Russ Piehl

    Thursday, January 3 2013 5:52 PM EST2013-01-03 22:52:05 GMT
    "My brother Russ died last night, doing what he loved to do most in this world. He was aboard a medical helicopter on it's way to help someone in need when it crashed. How many of us left behind live ourMore >>
    "My brother Russ died last night, doing what he loved to do most in this world. He was aboard a medical helicopter on it's way to help someone in need when it crashed. How many of us left behind live ourMore >>

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have identified two of the three people who were killed when a medical helicopter crashed into a northern Iowa field.

Witnesses told deputies that the helicopter burst into flames when it went down around 9 p.m. Wednesday just north of Ventura near Mason City in Cerro Gordo County. The aircraft was affiliated with Mercy Medical Center-North and had been headed to Emmetsburg to pick up a patient.

The hospital identified two of the victims: nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau and paramedic Russell Piehl. The pilot was not identified.

The helicopter was operated by a Lewisville, Texas-based service company, Med-Trans Air Medical Transport. Company officials didn't immediately return messages left Thursday by The Associated Press.

Sheriff Kevin Pals says the crash cause is being investigated.

Last month, three people were killed when a Lifeline helicopter crashed near Rochelle, Ill.

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