5 Killed in West Texas Air Ambulance Crash

Monday, Jul 5, 2010  |  Updated 10:12 AM CDT
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5 Killed in West Texas Air Ambulance Crash

A Cessna Model 425

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A patient and his wife were among the dead when an air ambulance crashed shortly after takeoff from a West Texas airport, killing all 5 people on board.

The crash happened about 12:15 a.m. Sunday about a mile east of Alpine-Casparis Municipal Airport, around 200 miles southeast of El Paso. The twin-engine Cessna 421 had just taken off for Midland International Airport in Midland when it went down in an open area, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The aircraft was carrying a patient and his wife to Midland, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. It identified the dead as 78-year-old patient Guy Richard Folger of Alpine, his 59-year-old wife, Mary Folger; two flight nurses, 49-year-old Sharon Falkener of Fort Davis, and 42-year-old Tracy Chambers of Alpine; and 59-year-old pilot Ted Caffarel of Beaumont.

Caffarel was apparently trying to make an emergency landing when the plane hit a rut in the muddy field, overturned and burned, the DPS said.

The FAA listed the aircraft as registered to O'Hara Flying Service II LP of Amarillo. Company owner Denny O'Hara declined to comment to The Associated Press.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Corey said.

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