After successfully hoisting a dehydrated hiker from a mountain trail, Life Flight helicopter pilot Brent Cowley wanted to go back up to see how high the chopper had flown during the rescue.
"We were elated it went so well," flight nurse Denise Ward said Sunday. But minutes after Cowley lifted off Saturday night, "there was a loud noise, and immediately the helicopter started spinning," she said.
The Agusta K-2 helicopter crashed in the foothills above the Salt Lake Valley, killing Cowley, 49, and injuring Ward, 42, and paramedic Brian Allred, 34
The 20-year-old woman the crew plucked off Mount Olympus was taken to a command center and evaluated. From there, she was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
Asked whether it was necessary to use a helicopter to rescue a dehydrated hiker, Gomez said Life Flight never questions the agencies -- in this case, Salt Lake County search and rescue -- that request help.