published Monday, August 1st, 2011

Medical helicopter responding to wreck hits power lines in Polk County

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A medical evacuation helicopter on its way to Erlanger hospital from Polk County was forced to land after its rotor hit electrical wires Monday night, according to hospital officials.

The Air Evac helicopter was called by Polk County dispatchers to a motor vehicle accident on Maggie Mill Road about 7:30 p.m.

It was lifting off with one of three seriously injured patients when it hit the wires and was forced down, according to Erlanger spokeswoman Pat Charles.

No one onboard — including the patient — was injured when the helicopter went down, Charles said.

“They’re not calling it a crash,” Charles clarified. “The helicopter was just disabled.”

At that point, Erlanger sent Life Force 1 from Chattanooga and Life Force 2 from North Georgia to assist.

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville also dispatched a medical helicopter, Charles said.

All three patients were taken immediately to Erlanger.

At 10 p.m., the three patients were listed in stable condition, according to Erlanger.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is handling the follow-up investigation.

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