Medical Helicopter from Rockford Memorial Crashes in Northern Illinois Field; Victims Names Released

The pilot and two nurses flying in a REACT medical helicopter from Rockford Memorial Hospital were killed Monday night when the aircraft hit bad weather and crashed, multiple media sources are reporting.


ROCHELLE —Two nurses and a pilot were killed when the REACT medical helicopter they were flying in crashed at about 8:30 p.m. Monday in a field near Rochelle, the Northwest Herald is reporting.

The helicopter was flying from Rockford Memorial Hospital to Mendota to pick up a patient, the story said. Those killed include the pilot Andy Olesen, 65, and flight nurses Karen Hollis, 48, and Jim Dillow, 40, the Herald reports.

There were no patients on the helicopter when it crashed, and Olesen was an experienced pilot, the story stated.

The REACT helicopter encountered bad weather and intended to turn around and head home when it crashed, the Rockford Register Star is reporting.

Dillow, a flight nurse, was 40 years old and joined the hospital in 1996. Hollis, 48, had been on staff since 1986, the story said.

Olesen, the pilot, worked for Air Methods Corp. of Englewood, Colo., the company contacted with Rockford Memorial. He was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam war when he served in the Army. He began flying with Air Methods in 1994, and planned to retire next week, the RRS story stated.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Kelly H December 12, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Absolutely horrible. True heros. I hope that they are recognized as soldiers and firefighters are. Good people risking and sacrificing their lives for the greater good. God rest their souls.
Stacy M December 12, 2012 at 07:15 AM
Such a tragedy for three true heros. My heart goes out to their families. Praying for GOD to give them strength during this heartbreaking time. May they rest in peace and know we are grateful for their service.
Bailey Rau February 12, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Andy Oleson was and is my uncle. I am in 7th grade and just saw him last summer. I live in minnesota so we didn't see eachother much but i still loved him dearly. I do love him and knowing him personaly he is a great man...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »