5 dead, including patient in medical plane crash in Nevada

STAGECOACH, Nev. (AP) — Five people aboard a medical transport plane, including a patient, were killed in a plane crash Friday night in the mountains of northern Nevada.

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office said authorities began receiving calls about the crash near Stagecoach, Nevada at 9:15 p.m., and discovered the wreckage two hours later. Stagecoach, a rural community of about 2,500 residents, is 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of Reno.

Care Flight, which provides air and helicopter ambulance services, said the dead included the pilot, a flight nurse, a flight paramedic, a patient and a family member of the patient.

Barry Duplantis, the company’s president and CEO, said Saturday afternoon that the relatives of all five victims had been notified, the Reno Gazette Journal reported. reported. “Our deepest condolences go out to their families,” Duplantis said.

The crash came amid a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service in Reno for large parts of Nevada, including parts of Leon County.

The weather service expects heavy snow, winds of 65 mph (105 km/h) and whiteout conditions from 4 a.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Sunday.

“It’s a pretty hilly area,” Leon County Sgt. Nathan Cooper said. “Especially with the weather right now, it’s not very good.”

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter Saturday morning that it was sending a seven-member team of investigators to the crash site. The NTSB is expected to release more information at a news conference on Sunday.

Care Flight identified the downed plane as a Pilatus PC-12. Federal Aviation Administration records show the plane was manufactured in 2002.

The agency said in a statement that it is grounding flights to focus on helping responding agencies, crew members and families.

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