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SkyLife

National Transporation Safety Board

Medevac helicopters transport patients to hospitals that can provide them with the best care. So when a helicopter meant to save lives crashes, it can feel doubly wrong. Four years ago, a medevac helicopter crash near McFarland sent shock waves through the first responder community and made headlines all over the Valley. 

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary investigation into last week’s deadly helicopter crash that killed four.

The SkyLife helicopter crashed last Thursday east of McFarland while transporting a patient from Porterville to Bakersfield.

The NTSB report does not add any new insight into why the helicopter went down but does confirm that it hit the ground in open, hilly terrain and that all major components were in the debris field.

Roger's Helicopters

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.