Crew indentified in fatal Tucson chopper crash

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By Dayle Gray By Dayle Gray
LifeNet pilot Alex Kelley died in a helicopter crash in Tucson's midtown Wednesday, August 28.  He was 61-years-old. By Air Methods Corporation LifeNet pilot Alex Kelley died in a helicopter crash in Tucson's midtown Wednesday, August 28. He was 61-years-old. By Air Methods Corporation
LifeNet nurse Parker Summons died in a helicopter crash in Tucson's midtown Wednesday, August 28.  He was 41-years-old. By Air Methods Corporation LifeNet nurse Parker Summons died in a helicopter crash in Tucson's midtown Wednesday, August 28. He was 41-years-old. By Air Methods Corporation
LifeNet paramedic Brenda French died in a helicopter crash in Tucson's midtown Wednesday, August 28.  She was 28-years-old. By Air Methods Corporation LifeNet paramedic Brenda French died in a helicopter crash in Tucson's midtown Wednesday, August 28. She was 28-years-old. By Air Methods Corporation
By Dayle Gray By Dayle Gray

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A medical helicopter carrying three people crashed Wednesday afternoon on Park Avenue, south of Glenn in midtown Tucson.  The paramedic, flight nurse, and pilot on board the aircraft received fatal injuries.  There were no patients on board.

Two of the crew members on board were taken to University Medical Center where they later died.

LifeNet has indentified the crew in the fatal crash as 61-year-old pilot Alex Kelly, 28-year-old paramedic Brenda French, and 41-year-old nurse Parker Summons.

The chopper crashed right behind a home and there were initial reports the crash set the home on fire, but fire officials later discounted that.

"It crashed into a wall on the corner of Mitchell and Park on the Northeast corner home.  There is an elderly man who lives here," explained Captain Trish Tracy of the Tucson Fire Department.

The elederly man is fine, he wasn't injured, wasn't even touched.

An eyewitness said he thinks the helicopter pilot worked to guide the helicopter to crash away from the nearby house.

"It looks like they did what they could to try to protect everybody," said Captain Tracy.

FAA spokesperson Lynne Lunsford said the pilot of the chopper was in contact with air traffic control, but gave no indication of any problem.

There are reports the helicopter had just taken off from nearby University Medical Center, but the FAA says the chopper was on the way from Marana to Douglas. 

The helicopter was based in Douglas, Arizona with Air Methods Corporation.

An eyewitness told Fox 11's Brian Roberts he saw a black helicopter flying over his house.  He heard the engines just shut off and then it crashed.   He said he ran to the scene, but the flames were too intense to be able to help anyone. 

A representative for Air Methods expressed grief over the accident.  "This is a sad day for all of us at Air Methods and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of our employees who perished while on duty," said Aaron Todd, chief executive officer of Air Methods Corporation.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident.