4 People Killed in Medical Helicopter Crash in Kern County

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A medical helicopter traveling from Porterville Municipal Airport to Meadows Field Airport crashed more than halfway to the intended destination on Dec. 10, 2015. Four people were killed. (Credit: CNN)

Four people were killed in a medical helicopter crash in Kern County on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

The plane was traveling from Porterville Municipal Airport in Porterville to Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield when it crashed, Federal Aviation Administration and American Ambulance officials confirmed. The journey is roughly 45 miles, Google Maps showed.

American Ambulance, a company that provides emergency and non-emergency patient transportation in Fresno and Kings counties, according to its website, tweeted that the helicopter was one of its own.

“We want to thank everyone for the sympathy for our lost helicopter crew. Family of employees will be mourning the tragedy for a long time,” American Ambulance tweeted.

CNN reported four people — the pilot, a flight nurse, a flight paramedic and a patient — died in the crash.

A preliminary investigation by the FAA showed the helicopter’s last known position, as of 6:50 p.m., was in Kern County near Sherwood Avenue and Highway 65, about 25 miles shy of the intended destination.

The cause of the crash was under investigation, but a wind advisory had been issued in the area at the time and it may have been raining, the National Weather Service reported.

The helicopter was a Bell407 with the tail No. N408FC, according to the FAA.

The search for it began after officials reported it was “overdue,” the FAA stated.