TOWN OF HAZELHURST, WI (WSAU-WXPR) — Three people have died after a medical helicopter crashed early Friday morning near the Town of Hazelhurst in Oneida County.
Peter Knutson of the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed to reporters that a pilot and two passengers were killed. No patients were on board at the time of the crash.
The Air Methods Eurocopter was based in Woodruff and had just delivered a patient to Madison. Reports indicate that the tracker lost the vehicle’s signal sometime around 10:45 Thursday night. The wreckage was found just south of Minocqua near US Highway 51.
WXPR Radio in Rhinelander reports that an NTSB investigator from Chicago is on his way to examine the wreckage near the Bearskin Recreation Trail. An initial report on the circumstances surrounding the accident could be finalized in a couple of weeks. A full report on the crash could take up to two years to complete.
Names of those on board have not yet been released. An autopsy on the pilot’s body is pending, which is standard procedure.
Additionally, Ascension Medical Group has released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened and mourning the loss of three teammates who were aboard the air medical helicopter that went down in Hazelhurst, Wisconsin on April 26.
“Our heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to the families and friends of the crew on-board. We will not release any names at this time to respect the privacy of their families.
“The accident is currently under investigation by the NTSB and FAA and we will support their work in every way possible.
“In addition, we have made the decision to suspend operations of our air and ground medical transport units until we determine when it is appropriate to resume operations. We are working with our EMS partners and medical transportation colleagues in the region to meet the needs of patient transport.
“We would like to thank the dedicated Emergency Response professionals in our community who have been responding to this incident.”