Helicopter in fatal crash at Fort Polk was on way to pick up soldier with heat-related injury
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The helicopter involved in a fatal crash at Fort Polk early this morning was on a medical evacuation mission to pick up a soldier with a heat-related injury, Fort Polk officials said.
The helicopter, of the Fort Polk-based 1-5 Aviation Battalion, was on its way to pick up the injured soldier when the accident happened in the JRTC and Fort Polk training area, according to Kim Reischling, spokeswoman for Fort Polk.
The three surviving crew members suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to Reischling. Two were transported to a hospital in Alexandria and another was transported to Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital.
A local restaurant owner, Diana Bergman and other surrounding area residents said Thursday they’re keeping all involved in their thoughts.
“I just, you know, lift up the family and pray that, through the comfort of Jesus that things will be alright for them of losing someone and someone getting hurt. We’re praying for the ones who got hurt to get better so they can heal," Bergman said.
“It’s just a horrible loss for them and their families. I’ll have their families in my prayers and hope that they can find out what happened so they can get some closure to this," Patricia Dockrey said.
The Army Times is reporting that the helicopter was a UH-60 Black Hawk and that the injury to which the crew was responding was heat-related.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Investigators with the U.S. Army Safety Center are en route to Fort Polk.
Reischling said the Army expects to release the name of the crew members on Friday.
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