Reno medical helicopter crash kills 3 crew members

November 18, 2009
Abram I. Bohrer

Nov. 18, 2009
Reno, NV-A medical helicopter crashed moments after issuing a mayday alert. The Mountain Lifelight helicopter crashed near the Nevada-California line around 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 14, 2009 as it returned from dropping off a patient, as reported by the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The medical helicopter reportedly had just dropped off a patient at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, and was on its way back to Susanville when it made its mayday alert seconds before plummeting to the ground. The Aerospatiale AS350 crashed and erupted into a fireball in Lassen County, nearly 30 miles northwest of Reno. Witnesses reported seeing the helicopter flying normally when it suddenly fell to the ground. The intense crash and fire destroyed the chopper. The three occupants of the helicopter, pilot James Bradsahw, 39; flight nurse Clinton Reger, 40; and paramedic Christopher Ritz, 37, were all tragically killed in the crash.

Air traffic controllers stated the pilot was not in contact with them when the chopper fell from the sky. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators were combing through the wreckage and conducting investigations. It has not been determined what caused the fatal crash.

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