Durham County

First responders honor fallen Duke Life Flight crew

This photo is from the scene of a Duke Life Flight helicopter crash in Perquimans County.
This photo is from the scene of a Duke Life Flight helicopter crash in Perquimans County. Tonya Bird

Officers with the Durham County Sheriff's Office Wednesday morning joined several first responder agencies in a convoy that transported the remains of members of the crew of the Duke Life Flight helicopter that crashed Friday.

The law enforcement officers joined firefighters, EMTs and other first responders in a procession in honor of the victims. The procession began in Greenville, and the bodies of the flight crew were taken to the funeral homes where their families had made arrangements for services and burial. Emergency medical workers and ambulance drivers stood at attention as the hearses passed, according to a video post from WTVD of Durham.

The crash occurred around 11:45 a.m. Friday. The Life Flight helicopter was returning to Duke from the Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City in Perquimans County. The helicopter went down near Belvidere, close to the Virginia border and about 160 miles east of Raleigh.

Duke University identified three of the four victims earlier this week. They were flight nurses Kris Harrison, R.N., and Crystal Sollinger, R.N., and pilot Jeff Burke. The identity of the patient they were transporting was not released, but The Elizabeth City Daily Advance reported that the patient killed in the crash was Mary Bartlett of Elizabeth City. Perquimans County Sheriff Shelby White confirmed Tuesday that Bartlett, 70, was aboard the Duke Life Flight helicopter that crashed in a field near Belvidere, the newspaper reported.

Cliff Bellamy: 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1

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