SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Officials with an aircraft company that transports medical patients by plane have released the names of three people who died in a crash of an Oakland-bound flight last week.
Pilot Larry Mills, Flight Nurse Deborah Kroon, Flight Paramedic Michelle Tarwater and a patient were bound for Oakland International Airport from Crescent City early Friday morning when their Piper Cheyenne plane went down in Humboldt County, Cal-Ore Life Flight officials said.
“This is one of the saddest moments in our history,” president of Cal-Ore’s parent company Reach Air Medical Services said in a statement.
The identity of the patient being transported has not been release. The patient was in transit to undergo treatment at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the crash scene on Sunday.
A Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team found the crash at about 10 a.m. on the property of a private timber company in an area north of Arcata. The plane left Crescent City Airport at 12:29 a.m.
The plane went missing near Arcata after Mills reported smoke in the cockpit at about 1 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Mills notified air traffic controllers that he was going to return to Crescent City and Cal-Ore officials said they lost contact with Mills at 1:05 a.m.