DURHAM, N.C.— Duke Health has finally released the name of the flight crew members who lost their lives when one of their medical helicopters crashed in North Carolina. There were four people onboard the ill-fated helicopter including three crew members.
It was reported by the ViewsHeadlines Yesterday that the helicopter crashed around 11:45 a.m. after leaving Sentara Albemarle Medical Center.
Duke Life Flight has identified the three workers. The three include flight nurses Kris Harrison, R.N. and Crystal Sollinger, R.N. and, the pilot, Jeff Burke, officials said.
Sarah Avery, Duke Health spokeswoman in a press release said “The Duke University Hospital and entire Duke University family continues to grieve their loss”. An investigation into the crash has been launched by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Duke Life Flight in a statement said, “With deep sorrow we can confirm that a Duke Life Flight helicopter crashed early this afternoon near Belvidere, North Carolina. We are in the process of directly confirming information related to this incident and will share more information as it becomes available.”
Meanwhile a spokeswoman for the Sentera Albemarle hospital, Annya Soucy, said the helicopter had picked up a patient needing an inter-hospital transfer to Duke. Though such taxi flights are common, “between our hospital and Duke [they] are not common,” she said. “There were no reports there were any issues” before the helicopter left, Soucy said, adding hospital staffers “have been in contact with the patient’s family.”
Holly Thompson Brewer has set up a GoFundMe page for Kris Harrison’s wife and their two daughters. Holly Thompson Brewer, while writing about the loss of Kris Harrison says, “We appreciate the outpouring of love and support for Kasey Harrison and her two beautiful girls. (Thank you for not tagging her or messaging her just yet.) I am not at all ready to share about their loss of their husband and daddy, Kris. If you know them, you likely know about the accident with Duke Life Flight yesterday. Kris was a hero and died a hero. THE ONLY reason I am even discussing this publicly is because so many of you have asked how you can help. I set up a Go Fund Me page to give Kasey everything you donate. She will need help in the coming months as they grieve an unimaginable loss, as they cope with a heartache that is unbearable, as they lay him to rest, and as they adapt to a life they never expected to live without him. I believe with all my heart that Kris would ask me to pray for his girls, to be there, to help take care of them. That is what we will do. If you would like to contribute, here is the link. Feel free to share”
Scott Kunkel While writing on his Facebook page says, “My thoughts and prayers go out to my friends and our air medical colleagues at Duke Life Flight for the loss of your team members in the crash yesterday. The professionals in the air medical community have always struct me as “doers”, faced with a challenge it is a group of people would always dig in and engage in the valuable services that are delivered to those in need. I suppose that is what brings a whole different dimension to our grief; knowing that our engagement has to shift from the active participation to a supportive initiatives that are focused more on long-term healing. To the team at Duke Life Flight – know that we are with you and that you have a broad community of support to lean on as you get through this very painful time”.