Jackson Man Buried As Search Continues for More Air Ambulance Crew

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Salvage crews gathered at a marina Thursday to continue their search for bits of wreckage that might help explain why a medical transport flight crashed into Lake Michigan last week, killing all six people aboard.

Small parts of the plane, including pilot seats and pieces of the cockpit, have been found. Rick Chianelli, the operations manager for salvage firm T & T Bisso LLC of Houston, said he wasn't sure how much else they would find.

"It depends how scattered everything is," said Chianelli, whose crew is being overseen by the National Transportation Safety Board. "This is all still a work in progress."

Remains of pilots Dennis Hoyes and Bill Serra had been recovered and identified through dental records and DNA analysis. Other body parts have been found but no official identifications made, the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office said Thursday.

The Cessna Citation carrying an organ procurement team from the University of Michigan plunged into the lake June 4, shortly after taking off from General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. Moments earlier, a pilot reported a problem with the plane's trim system, which controls bank and pitch.

The plane headed to Willow Run Airport near Detroit carried lungs for a critically ill patient. The patient had a transplant later in the week with organs from another donor.

Authorities have said weather was not a factor in the crash.

The donor organs came from a patient at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee.

Officials there scheduled a memorial service for Thursday afternoon to "help us to come together as a health care system, as a community to express our sympathies," spokeswoman Kathleen Schmitz said.

The other crash victims were cardiac surgeon Martinus Spoor; transplant donation specialist Richard Chenault II; David Ashburn, a physician-in-training in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery; and transplant specialist Richard LaPensee.


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