Air Ambulance Crash Case Won’t Go to Trial

A legal settlement has been agreed to in the case of a tragic EMS helicopter crash


The deadly remains of Mercy Air Med EMS air ambulance in Iowa

Pilot Gene Grell

Pilot Gene Grell

In Sioux City Iowa the parties involved in a multi-million dollar lawsuit have settled their case, involving  an emergency helicopter crash that killed 3 responders in a northern Iowa cornfield.


Paramedic Russek Piehl

Paramedic Russ Piehl

The helicopter had 3 people aboard: Paramedic Russ Piehl; Emergency Nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau, as well as the Pilot Gene Grell when it went down at 9 pm on January 2, 2013, near the town of Ventura when it was en route to pick up a patient.

The helicopter operator was contracted to Mercy Medical Center in Mason City under the name Mercy Air Med.

The NTSB investigation team determined that ice build-up on the aircraft was the cause of the crash. They say that particular helicopter – a Bell 407 – was not equipped for, and should not have been flying in, freezing weather.

N Shelly

Shelly Lair-Langenbau, RN

The lawsuit was filed by the family of Nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau against Med Trans Corporation in the months following the crash. The trial in Sioux City Federal Court was scheduled to start on June 6 when the settlement was reached. Details of the agreement have not yet been released.

Here’s another look at the ugly reality of EMS helicopters:

Iowa medical helicopter crash was second on same day


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