'He loved helping people': First responder killed in helicopter crash remembered by fire chief


The fire chief of the Jefferson Township Fire Department said Bradley Haynes loved being a paramedic and loved helping people.

“That was his passion, it's what he lived for,” Paul Van Horn said.

Haynes was one of three people who was killed in a medical helicopter crash Tuesday.

Advertisement - Story continues below

The helicopter had departed Mount Carmel Grove City hospital and was flying to Holzer Meigs hospital in Pomeroy. Troopers located the wreckage of the helicopter in Vinton County.

Pilot Jennifer Topper and flight nurse Rachel Cunningham were also onboard.

Van Horn described Haynes as a happy guy and a proud father to five kids.

He said Haynes loved to read and learn as well as helping the new firefighters.

“He always loved to tell you where he stood. One of the expressions I loved about Brad, he loved to say, 'Let me tell you how to do this,’” he said.

Haynes had been a full-time firefighter with the department for almost 20 years. He worked part-time with the Hamilton Township fire and at Survival Flight.

Van Horn said he knew all three victims. He said Topper was one of the smoothest pilots he’s been with.

Friends say Cunningham was a sweet, thoughtful woman who was adventurous.

Van Horn said the well-wishes his department has received has been overwhelming.

He said other departments have jumped in to cover their area so they can concentrate on mourning the loss of one of their own.

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