Hospital: Helicopter had 'perfect safety record'

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Rockford Memorial Hospital says its helicopter had a perfect safety record before it crashed in a field, killing the pilot and two nurses.

Spokesman Wester Wuori (WORRY) says the hospital has owned the helicopter since 1991. It contracted with Colorado-based medical transit company Air Methods for operational services.

Pilot Andy Olesen and nurses Karen Hollis and Jim Dillow were killed when the helicopter crashed Monday night in a field near Rochelle, Ill., about 70 miles west of Chicago. They were traveling to pick up a patient at a Mendota hospital, and no patients were on board.

Olesen worked for Air Methods; the nurses worked for the hospital.

Wuori says employees at the close-knit hospital are shocked by the tragedy.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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