Memorial Service Held for Medical Chopper Crash Victims

Pilot Andy Oleson and flight nurses Jim Dillow and Karen Hollis were killed on Dec. 10

A public memorial service was held Wednesday to remember the crew of a medical helicopter that crashed last week in Lee County.

"The crew didn't give their lives, their lives were taken doing God's work helping the sick," the Rev. William Wentink said, according to Rockford NBC station WREX-TV.

The memorial service for pilot Andy Oleson and flight nurses Jim Dillow and Karen Hollis was held at 10 a.m. in the Physical Education Center at Rock Valley College, at 3301 N. Mulford Rd., in Rockford.

The three died Dec. 10 while en route to a hospital in Mendota.

The last communication with the helicopter was a radio call from Oleson that the crew was experiencing bad weather and were headed back to Rockford.

Shortly afterward, the helicopter went down in a cornfield in Compton, a small town near Rochelle. The debris scattered across the entire field, according to Lee County Sheriff John R. Varga.

The helicopter they were flying was 25 years old and averaged 600 flights a year, but the head of the hospital's acute care helicopter program insists it was well maintained.


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