NTSB investigating Texas nurse's fatal fall from helicopter

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 28, 2015 3:41 PM

By Jim Forsyth

(Reuters) - U.S. air safety officials are investigating the death of a veteran flight nurse who fell as she was attempting to lift an injured hiker into a hovering helicopter during a rescue in a rugged Texas recreational area, officials said on Tuesday.

Officials with Travis County STAR Flight said Kristin McLain, 46, was guiding a woman who had fallen in the Austin park area into a medical helicopter when she fell from the hoist on Monday night. McLain was pronounced dead at the scene.

"During the hoist extraction of a victim, one of our rescuers fell from the hoist and was fatally injured," STAR Flight Program Director Casey Ping said.

McLain had been with STAR Flight for seven years, Ping said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the fatal incident.

Ernesto Rodriguez, chief of emergency medical services for the Austin Fire Department, said the wilderness rescue call involved potentially serious injuries to the hiker.

The incident happened in the Barton Creek Greenbelt, an area known for its hiking, rock climbing and biking. The rescued woman was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth in San Antonio; Editing by David Bailey and Eric Beech)