Agencies take a closer look at EagleMed helicopters

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OKLAHOMA CITY-- Three crashes and five fatalities later, government agencies are taking a closer look at Oklahoma's EagleMed helicopters.

Attorney Ed Blau thinks that EagleMed should be grounded for the time being.

Blau said, "I have a feeling that that agency, as well as the FAA, will likely pull EagleMed's carrier certificate until it`s determined what is causing, or what has caused, the recent crashes."

Bob Moore Chopper 4 pilot Jon Welsh says Tuesday night's scene looks like a situation of possibly carrying too much weight and not realizing it until it was too late.

"It could have been a scenario that they just didn't have power to clear the trees," said Welsh. "Or in some of those you might just have to not accept the patient or sit there and burn more fuel until you`re down."

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board say they have looked at all of EagleMed's crashes and will continue to investigate this latest accident.

Brent Berry, of Carr and Carr, says the public should put their trust in these investigations.

"I think they look through every detail and they turn over every stone," said Berry. "They do a very thorough job, in my opinion, of investigating these incidents."

Blau thinks government agencies shouldn't be the only ones looking deeper into EagleMed.

"A hospital after two crashes that continues to contract with EagleMed, they open themselves up to liability to the victims of that crash," said Blau. "A patient in an emergency doesn't choose where he or she is injured or where he or she has an emergency so they are at the mercy of these hospitals."

In some emergencies, especially in rural areas, an ambulance ride isn't fast enough.

Sometimes, first responders have to make the decision to put their patient on a medical flight.

Blau said, "The last thing that a patient or a patient's family should have to worry about is whether or not they're going to get to their destination safely."

He says everyone involved needs to do more to assure patients everything will be alright.

Blau said, "I have a feeling that anybody that thinks about hiring EagleMed in the future or working with them will take a long hard look at the last three years and what has happened."

But Berry still believes helicopter crashes are rare.

"Helicopters shouldn`t crash," said Berry. "Unless there is some type of safety rule that has been violated."

There are many factors that could have caused each crash but Berry thinks they were preventable.

Berry said, "There are very few true accidents that occur because of no one`s fault."

EagleMed has said they are cooperating with both government agencies by providing them with everything they need to complete their investigation.

They also mentioned they are supporting the families who have lost loved ones in the crashes.

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