Air Medical Accident March 3, 1980
On March 3, 1980, Iowa Health – Des Moines (IHDM) Life Flight crew Hallie Burns, RN, Maureen Griffin, RN and pilot, Nick Roetner, boarded the helicopter on a mission to Webster City, Iowa. On approach to the hospital, the helicopter crashed, killing all three crew members.
The craft had been dispatched to Webster City to transport a heart patient to Iowa Methodist Medical Center. The helicopter crashed while attempting to land near the hospital. There was no fire or damage to anything in the area. After extensive investigation, the cause of the crash remains unknown. This incident was the first and only time an injury or loss of life was reported on an IHDM medical helicopter flight.
Only three days after the accident, Life Flight was back in service with a new aircraft. Despite the tragedy, the crew showed resilience, strength and commitment to their job and serving the community. Today, the Life Flight team honors their fallen by their Commitment to Safety, a pledge holding the crew responsible to themselves and each other, which makes safety second to none.