3 Killed in Florida Helicopter Crash


0  Updated at 2:06 pm, December 26th, 2011 By: ABC Digital
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Tim Hawley/Getty Images(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Three people aboard a medical transport helicopter were killed when it crashed in a wooded area northeast of Palatka, Fla., Monday morning.

The chopper was en route from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville to a hospital in Gainesville to harvest organs when it went down.

“We understand from local authorities that the helicopter wreckage has been found,” said Mayo Clinic spokesperson Layne Smith.

“It was discovered in Clay County, Fla., near Green Cove Springs, which is about midway between Jacksonville and Gainesville,” Smith said.

Two of the three people on board were Mayo Clinic employees.

“The medical team consisted of Mayo Clinic cardiac surgeon Luis Bonilla, M.D., and procurement technician David Hines,” the Clinic said in a statement. “A helicopter pilot who was not employed by Mayo also died in the accident. No patients were on board.”

The pilot’s identity was not immediately made public.

An investigation into what caused the crash is underway.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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