Duke Life Flight helicopter crashes in N.C., four fatalities confirmed

PERQUIMANS COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) confirms there were fatalities in a helicopter crash in Perquimans County Friday.

Highway Patrol said it was a Duke Life Flight helicopter that crashed.  It went down around 11:45 a.m. in the area of Swamp Road and Sandy Cross Road.

The Sheriff’s Office and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are also involved in the investigation.

Sister station WNCN in Raleigh confirmed with the North Carolina Highway Patrol that there are four confirmed fatalities. A Sentara spokesman says the medical helicopter departed from Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City and was headed to Duke Medical Center.

 “I got right up on the scene earlier,” said Jason Winslow. “It didn’t look good at all.”White says at least one person witnessed the crash.

North Carolina Emergency Management and several other agencies are investigating. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are scheduled to arrive in Perquimans on Saturday.

The wreckage will be cleared Saturday as well. There will be security monitoring the crash site throughout the night.

Duke health officials provided the following statement to WAVY.com:

With deep sorrow we can confirm that a Duke Life Flight helicopter crashed early this afternoon near Belvidere, North Carolina.  We are in the process of directly confirming information related to this incident and will share more information as it becomes available.”

Sentara Albemarle Medical Center President Coleen Santa Ana released this statement Friday:

We are deeply saddened by the loss of our patient and the dedicated professionals from Duke Life Flight. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the patient who was lost and to those closest to the crew members. We also extend our sincere sympathies to Duke University Medical Center on the loss of their colleagues. This tragedy reminds us of the devotion of healthcare professionals to the service of others.”

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