MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified two of three people who were killed when a medical helicopter crashed into a northern Iowa field.
Witnesses told deputies that the helicopter burst into flames when it went down around 9 p.m. Wednesday just north of Ventura in Cerro Gordo County. The aircraft was affiliated with Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa and had been headed to Emmetsburg to pick up a patient.
The hospital identified two of the victims: nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau and paramedic Russell Piehl.
The pilot was not identified. The helicopter was operated by a Lewisville, Texas-based service company, Med-Trans Air Medical Transport. Company officials didn't immediately return messages left Thursday by The Associated Press.
Sheriff Kevin Pals says the crash cause is being investigated.