Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Child, medical crew die in copter crash

One-year-old Kirstin Blockinger was being flown to a hospital near Chicago when the chopper crashed, killing four.

Associated Press

One-year-old Kirstin Blockinger was being flown to a hospital near Chicago when the chopper crashed, killing four.

AURORA, Ill. — A toddler being flown to a hospital died in a fiery helicopter crash with three crew members when the aircraft clipped a radio tower wire and went down in a suburban Chicago field, authorities said Thursday.

Federal authorities said they were investigating whether the tower's lights were on at the time of the fatal crash minutes before midnight Wednesday — the sixth involving medical helicopters in the United States this year.

About 1,000 people who live near the 734-foot tower were advised to leave their homes because of damage to the structure.

The Air Angels helicopter had been carrying 1-year-old Kirstin Blockinger to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Nearly a dozen members of the girl's family visited the site of the crash late Thursday afternoon, filing through tall grass to see the wreckage, one clutching a brown teddy bear and pink roses.

"We love Kirstin and celebrate her life, however short," said her grandfather, Steve Ogletree, who also offered condolences to the Air Angels crew and their family members.

Eva Blockinger said her great-granddaughter often was ill and suffered seizures. Kirstin's father is a National Guardsman who was training in Kansas to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Air Angels CEO Jim Adams said operations at the Bolingbrook-based emergency medical transport service were being suspended while the company worked with NTSB investigators.

Thursday's accident was the 11th crash this year, and the sixth fatal one, involving medical helicopters nationwide, according to NTSB data.

The NTSB plans to hold a public hearing on medical helicopter crashes next year to look into the recent increases in accident rates, said NTSB spokesman Terry Williams.

Child, medical crew die in copter crash 10/16/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 4:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate

    Corporate

    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers

    Crime

    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  5. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)

    War

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.