Rockford Health System officials said Tuesday that the pilot of the medical helicopter that crashed near Rochelle Monday night was turning around because the aircraft encountered weather. Officials could not elaborate, but area residents reported sleet-like conditions at the time of the crash.
Three people were killed when the React helicopter went down. The helicopter was headed for a hospital in Mendota when it crashed in a field around 8:30 Monday evening. The three who were killed were the helicopter’s crew: pilot Andy Olesen and flight nurses Jim Dillow and Karen Hollis. There were no patients aboard the flight.
Meanwhile, NTSB officials say a preliminary report could be issued as early as next week. However, it could take at least a year for a final report to be issued.