Bismarck, ND (KEYZ) Authorities identify the three people who died when an air ambulance plane crashed in western North Dakota. Morton County say they are 48-year-old pilot, Todd Lasky and 63-year-old nurse Bonnie Cook, both of Bismarck, and 47-year-old paramedic Chris Iverson, of Mandan. Lasky and Iverson worked for Bismarck Air Medical and Cook for CHI St. Alexius Health. They were onboard a twin-engine plane that crashed in a farm field shortly after takeoff from Bismarck late Sunday.
It was flying to Williston to pick up a patient. There were no survivors. The Civil Air Patrol said an initial analysis by an Air Force rescue center indicated the Cessna 441 turboprop might have broken up in midair. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.
Bismarck, ND (KEYZ) Experts believe an air ambulance on its way to pick up a patient in Williston Sunday night, broke up in mid air causing it to crash shortly after taking off, killing all three people on board. An analysis by the Air Force team indicated the plane might have broken up at about 14,000 feet (4,300 meters), and “that corresponded with what they found on the ground,” said Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. Sean Johnson.
Lt. Col. Johnson said he didn’t want to speculate on the cause of the break up. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating. FAA records reveal the Cessna 441 turboprop was built in 1982 and Bismarck Air Medical as the registered owner.
The National Weather reported light snow in the area at the time, but conditions were not hazardous. The twin-engine Bismarck Air Medical airplane took off about 10:30 p.m. Sunday and crashed shortly after in a field about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Bismarck. Air traffic control officials lost contact with the plane about 11 p.m., county spokeswoman Maxine Herr tells News Radio.
CHI St. Alexius Health and Bismarck Air Medical said in a joint statement that the pilot, a paramedic and a registered nurse had been heading to Williston to pick up a patient. The statement did not provide their names. “It is a sad day here for both of our organizations,” Kurt Schley, president of CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck, and Dan Schaefer, operations chief for Bismarck Air Medical and Metro Area Ambulance Operations, said. “We are grieving for the family members of those who were on board.”
Gov. Doug Burgum issued a statement Monday expressing condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the victims. “We are deeply saddened by the news of last night’s airplane crash that claimed the lives of the pilot, a paramedic and a registered nurse — individuals who dedicated their lives to saving the lives of others,” he said. “We are forever grateful for their service.”