Pilot, 2 nurses killed when medical copter crashes

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Three people were killed when a medical helicopter crashed in Lee County Monday night.

The helicopter took off from Rockford and crashed in a field in the small town of Compton, near the city of Rochelle.

Pilot, Andy Olson, and flight nurses, Jim Dillow and Karen Hollis, were killed.

“We had debris scattered hundreds of feet throughout the field,” said Lee County Sheriff John Varga.

The helicopter was registered to Rockford Memorial Hospital.

It was on its way to pick up a patient at Mendota Community Hospital.

No patients were on board.

At Rockford Health System, our hearts are heavy,” hospital spokesman Wester Wuori said in a statement. “We grieve the loss of three heroes who dedicated their careers to serving others.”

“No one saw it go down.  What we basically got was a phone call about an aircraft flying low,” said Varga.  “One of the farmers in the area actually spotted the wreckage, and that’s where we’re at right now.”

The NTSB is leading the investigation into finding the cause of the crash.

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