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Names Of Three of Four Killed In SkyLife Crash Released

Dec 11, 2015

The names of three of the four people killed when a life flight helicopter crashed in Kern County are now known. However, the cause of the crash remains a mystery.

Pilot Thomas Hampl, Nurse Marco Lopez and Paramedic Kyle Juarez as well as the patient all died when the helicopter went down east of McFarland in Kern County Thursday night.

The SkyLife Helicopter was transporting a female patient from Porterville to San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield.

American Ambulance CEO Todd Valeri says only about two dozen people work in the life flight division.

“It’s a very close knit group. When you consider the nature of their work which is high stress, high acuity patients. SO they rely on each other. It’s like a family,” Valeri said.

Valeri says it will be some time before they are able to do an investigation into why the helicopter went down.

The crash happened during the company’s annual Christmas Party.

This helicopter is the same one that dodged a drone earlier in the year. This is the only fatal crash in SkyLife's 24 year history.