At least two roads are still closed in Wichita Falls after a Bell 206 LongRanger III helicopter carrying a medical evacuation team and a gunshot victim crashed. Buddy Rhodes was the only one of the four members of the helicopter to die. Rhodes was being transported by a Duncan based evacuation team after being shot inside a Waurika Oklahoma Apartment. The evacuation crew that survived includes pilot Zechariah Smith, flight nurse Leslie Stewart, and flight paramedic Erasmus Vandercolff IV are all listed in critical condition.
Police quickly blocked access to most roads and alleyways of the surrounding area. Nearly 20 hours later, only the intersection of 9th and Grace Street, where the plane crashed, remains inaccessible. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are heading up the investigation. Local law enforcement has worked side by side with the groups to make sure none of the evidence from the crash site is disturbed.
"We want to protect the scene until they have completed their investigation and picked up the debris," said Wichita Falls Sergeant John Spragins.
According to Spragins the roads could be closed until the middle of the week. The hope is that the road will be cleared and ready to drive on by Monday.
Spragins said it was important that drivers stay clear of the intersection so that the investigation of the scene can be as thorough as possible.