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Elko vigil planned for crew, patient killed in plane crash

November 21, 2016
Flames rise from the wreckage of an American Medflight plane, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, after it crashed in Elko, Nev., on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation safety board will investigate the fiery crash in northern Nevada in which all four people aboard the air-ambulance flight were reported killed. (Toni R. Milano/The Daily Free Press via AP)
Flames rise from the wreckage of an American Medflight plane, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, after it crashed in Elko, Nev., on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation safety board will investigate the fiery crash in northern Nevada in which all four people aboard the air-ambulance flight were reported killed. (Toni R. Milano/The Daily Free Press via AP)

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — A northeast Nevada community planned a candlelight memorial Monday to mourn four people killed in the crash of a medical aircraft shortly after takeoff last week from Elko Regional Airport.

The evening event at an Elko park was set to remember American Medflight pilot Yuji Irie, paramedic Jake Shepherd, nurse Tiffany Urresti and their patient, Edward Clohesey of Spring Creek, Nevada, the Elko Daily Free Press reported (http://bit.ly/2fW71yU ).

Clohesy, a miner in his 60s who friends said was nearing retirement, was being flown to University Hospital in Salt Lake City for heart surgery when the twin-engine Piper PA-31T air ambulance crashed Friday evening in a Barrick Gold Corp. parking lot.

The aircraft and several vehicles were destroyed. No one on the ground were injured.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss said Monday that a preliminary report about the crash should be available in several days. Full reports usually take several months to complete.

John Burruel, president and chief executive of Reno-based American Medflight, told the Free Press that Irie, 63, a former Las Vegas resident, was a Japanese immigrant to the United States with endless energy and compassion and an unstoppable work ethic.

Irie was credited by Elko police Lt. Rich Genseal with guiding the doomed plane away from an apartment complex before the crash into a park-and-ride lot where miners leave personal vehicles and board buses to work.

Shepherd, of Logan, Utah, was a paramedic for Mountain West Medical Center, operated by Tooele County Emergency Medical Services in Utah. KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City said he was married with three children.

Urresti, of Elko began work as a flight nurse with American Medflight several weeks ago, and was engaged to be married to the assistant director of Elko’s airport, her parents Debbi and Jim Urresti, told the Free Press. She previously worked as an emergency room nurse at Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital in Elko.

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Information from: Elko Daily Free Press, http://www.elkodaily.com

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