Staff killed in Duke Life Flight helicopter crash identified

BELVIDERE, N.C. (AP) - The names of the nurses and pilot on board the medical helicopter that crashed in Perquimans county Friday have been released.

According to Duke Life Flight, the victims included flight nurses Kris Harrison and Crystal Sollinger and pilot Jeff Burke. The name of the patient on board has not yet been released.

The helicopter was en route to Duke University Hospital in Durham from Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City when it crashed in a grassy field just outside the town of Belvidere, officials said.

National Transportation Safety Board is helping in the investigation of the crash.

Duke University says the Life Flight program has grounded all flights until further notice.

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The North Carolina Highway Patrol says four people have been killed in the crash of a medical helicopter.

Patrol spokesman Master Trooper Christopher Knox said the Duke Life Flight helicopter went down around 11:45 a.m. Friday near the town of Belvidere, close to the Virginia border and about 160 miles east of Raleigh.

Knox said it's not known where the helicopter was headed when it went down and authorities have no idea what caused the crash. He said the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and state troopers are on the scene to secure the site.

The Duke Life Flight web page says its helicopters usually have two critical care providers and a pilot on board and can only carry one patient at a time.