• 3 killed in medical helicopter crash, victims identified

    By: Tom Dees


    HELENA, Ark. - Three people are dead following a medical helicopter crash in rural Eastern Arkansas. 

    The three victims have been identified as Trey Auld III, Jim Spruiell, and Mike Bollen.

    Locals told FOX13 they suspect geese are at fault.

    A witness said she was out walking her dog around 8:00 that night.

    The witness saw a chopper fly over the lake. She said the geese got extremely loud, then the helicopter went out of control with a loud explosion. 

    The chopper was heading to an Eastern Arkansas hospital to pick up a patient when it crashed.

    Brian Englekus lived down the road from the crash scene. He shared with us that he has his own theory about what caused the crash. 

    "All I can say is they flew over an area heavily populated by ducks and geese, " Englekus said.

    Englekus thinks the chopper may have flown into birds. 

    "They may have flown into a mass of them and got them in the rotor blades," Englekus said.

    The FAA and the NTSB arrived on scene Monday morning.

    Law enforcement said the scene of the crash could be tough to access because of swamp. The crash site was a mile back in the woods. 

    "Yeah it's muddy and swampy back there but the road is passable back there. I don't know if it is swamp or what, " Englekus said.

    Family and friends have identified the dead as John Auld the third of Shreveport Louisiana and the inflight medic who was killed as Jim Spruiell. 

    We are working to learn the official cause of the crash.

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