Thursday, September 2, 2010

Candlelight vigil held for helicopter crew

Hundreds come out tonight to honor the lives of three Air Evac team members killed Tuesday in a helicopter crash.

They were responding to a medical call when the chopper crashed in Van Buren County near Scotland. The crew was based in Vilonia.

It was an outpouring of support tonight for the three members of that Air Evac lifeteam crew.

Friends, colleagues and loved ones gathered here at the Vilonia Fire Department, lighting candles to keep their memories alive.
The pain and loss still sinks in, one day after pilot Ken Robertson, flight paramedic Gayla Gregory, and flight nurse Kenneth meter, Jr. died in this helicopter crash near Scotland.

"The grieving process of course starts as soon as it happens but it's letting the family's and coworkers know how special they really are too us," says Connie Gains, clinical trauma coordinator at UAMS.
Gaines joined a packed candlelight vigil Wednesday night to remember the three lives lost.

Gaines works for the UAMS trauma center and often partners with medical crews like these. "They bring many patients to us they are a part of our trauma team," she says.

She shared a special bond with Kenneth Meyer, Jr., the flight nurse. "He and I used to tease each other about flying I always told him if I was meant to fly I'd have wings and I don't but he does and I guess he really does now."

Good memories to clutch onto and ones needed in this community right now.

"I talked to a few people today they were glad and real supportive of us doing this," Keith Hillman, Vilonia fire chief.

Hillman organized the vigil with his team; their department is right next to the Air Evac crew. "The guys would eat lunch with us the guys would hang out with us.

A company spokesman for Air Evac said they're planning a memorial service in the coming days, still waiting on the details.
One speaker said tonight while the air in Vilonia may be silent tonight, this community will recover.

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