ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – At 18-years-old, Alexis Menchaca had her whole life ahead, but her junior year in high school came to an abrupt pause on West Chestnut Avenue in late January.
“We just came out here to burn off some steam,” Alexis explained. “[The car] flipped.”
Details were laid out in an Enid Police Department report. Their Honda CRV was traveling too fast and lost control on the gravel road.
Alexis was ejected from the passenger seat, landing out in a nearby field.
“I was knocked unconscious by the windshield; I didn’t have my seatbelt on,” she said. “Oh yeah, and, kids, seatbelts always!”
Authorities on scene would call Air Evac, knowing Alexis’s injuries were critical. She would be sent to OU Medical Center.
Alexis’s mother, Christina Bean, was stuck in North Carolina. Her dad provided updates, but time continued to tick on.
“[I] Called her dad; he hurried to OU Medical Center to be there in the emergency department,” Christina said. “He kept calling me, asking, ‘Where’s the helicopter, where’s the helicopter, why aren’t they here yet?'”
Life EMS in Enid tells KFOR they handed care of Alexis over to Air Evac personnel at 6:52.
Alexis’s dad didn’t spot her helicopter in OKC till nearly two hours later.
According to medical documents, Alexis wasn’t formally admitted into an ICU room until after 11. So what caused the delay?
Christina tells KFOR, emergency personnel on scene told her there was an equipment malfunction on Air Evac’s initial helicopter. She says Alexis had to wait for a second chopper.
“From what I understand, everything happened after she loaded. Then they had to call for a second helicopter,” Christina said. “That’s a long time.”
KFOR reached out to Air Evac, but was given no comment, with the company citing HIPAA concerns. A spokesperson did say a patient advocate would reach out to the family.
Life EMS in Enid was also unable to confirm any helicopter issues, but an official did tell KFOR the closest Air Evac base to the city is located in Kingfisher.
Meanwhile, the helicopter that ultimately brought Alexis, came from Ponca City.
The bill for the flight is close to $54,000.
“It took them so much longer than it should have,” said Christina. “I think Air Evac should be giving at least a discount.”
While the family fights for answers, Alexis fights for normalcy.
She sustained numerous injuries in the crash, and may have issues the rest of her life.
“I had to learn how to walk again, how to eat again, how to breathe through my nose again,” said Alexis.
“Right now, I’m not able to work, I’m home with her,” added Christina. “She’s supposed to have 24-7 adult supervision.”
Alexis tells KFOR she’ll be taking the high road, knowing her second life may be just beginning.
“I’m 18-years-old, but God gave me a second chance,” she said. “He saw something in me that gave me hope.”
But an interesting development happened in the story. After we started looking into it, an ecstatic Christina reached out to KFOR, letting us know Air Evac would now be closing out their whole account.
“We just got some really great news. Just got off the phone with Air Evac, and they’ve decided they’re going to write the bill off for Alexis’s flight,” explained Christina, in a video she sent to In Your Corner. “We are so excited!”
We reached out to the FAA to inquire about a possible report on the helicopter malfunction, but we have not heard back.