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Fatal work accident claims Illinois helicopter crew

Emergency response workers are frequently exposed to danger as part of their jobs, but most are willing to face the risks in order to help those in need. Three crew members in an Illinois medical helicopter, a pilot and two flight nurses, were tragically killed in a fatal work accident when their helicopter crashed. Inclement weather is suspected to have contributed to the accident.

The helicopter crashed into a cornfield south of Rochelle just as it turned around to head back to its base at Rockford Memorial Hospital. The crew had been heading toward Mendota Hospital to pick up and transport a patient, but the pilot notified the hospital that the weather was too bad to continue the mission. The crash occurred a short time later. A witness reported that it was sleeting at the time.

Local response teams arrived to the scene of the accident, including police and fire crews. They found debris that covered an area larger than a football field. The accident investigation has been turned over to two federal agencies.

As the details of what caused this crash come to light, the families of the fallen crew members must find a way to move on from this tragic event. This crash may have financial consequences as well as emotional ones, especially for family members who now face funeral expenses and a loss of income. In Illinois, family members of individuals who die in a fatal work accident may be entitled to workers' compensation death benefits that cover these financial losses. Receiving these benefits may alleviate some of the stress that comes with such a difficult time, and those involved may take comfort in knowing that help is available to ensure that all benefits due are paid in a timely manner.

Source: oglecountynews.com, "REACT helicopter crashes into rural farm field," Dec. 14, 2012

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Hannigan & Botha, Ltd.
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