Woman Recently Engaged and Father of 3 Among 4 Victims of Air Ambulance Plane Crash
The four people who were killed Friday in Nevada when a medical transport plane crashed into a parking lot have now been identified.
The plane, operated by American Medflight, burst into flames in the Barrick Gold Corp. parking lot near Elko Regional Airport, killing three crew members and one patient.
The victims were Pilot Yuji Irie and medical staff members Jake Shepherd and Tiffany Urresti, along with their patient, Edward Clohesey, according to Elko police.
According to reports, Clohesey, a gold miner, was a heart patient being transported to a hospital in Utah for open heart surgery when the crash occurred.
Authorities said that one minute after taking off, the plane made a sharp turn and fell into the parking lot full of cars, but no one on the ground was injured.
A doctor who treated Clohesey in the past said he was looking forward to his future.
"He was really looking forward to retirement," said Dr. Rodney Badger at Northeastern Nevada Cardiology. "My heart goes out to his family and friends."
Shepherd and Urresti, 29, are both being remembered as dedicated public servants.
Shepherd was from Utah and worked part-time as a paramedic for Mountain West Medical Center in Tooele, according to reports.
He was known for his caring attitude.
"He had a big heart," Joe Carnell, Ambulance Director with Mountain West, told Fox13. "He was dedicated to his community; he was dedicated to the public."
Another friend of Shepherd, Travis Allred, said he died doing what he loved.
Shepherd leaves behind a wife and three children while Urresti had just gotten engaged and was set to marry in May.
Urresti, a former firefighter and emergency room nurse, had been working at American Medflight for two months, according to reports.
Her parents told the Elko Daily Press that Urresti was fulfilling her dream of working as a flight nurse.
Elko Fire Chief Matt Griego also talked to the paper about Urresti’s involvement with the volunteer fire department and said her father has been with the department 30 years.
“It hits home. The crew is coping as well as they can,” Griego said.
Pilot Yuji Irie, 63, was a Japanese Immigrant who had moved to the states and flying was his passion, according to a statement by American Medflight.
“He wanted to fly his entire life, and never stopped in pursuit of his passion. Indeed, he became a skilled aviator and had saved hundreds of lives over a long career at American Medflight,” the company said.
John Burruel, American Medflight's President and CEO, remembered Irie as someone who was unstoppable.
"I've always said that if I had 50 Yuji's, this company would be unstoppable and we'd achieve anything we set out to do. He had the best work ethic I've ever seen and he cared for people with endless energy and compassion,” Burruel said.