Pilot Dies in Crash

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The pilot of a hospital helicopter was killed Thursday morning in Tippah County.

The chopper was initially sent there from a tupelo hospital Wednesday night to pick up an automobile accident victim.

Instead, the accident victim was transported by ambulance due to mechanical concerns about the aircraft once it arrived.

"Because these folks that fly these helicopters save lives, and they have a dear place in our hearts, and I'm saddened by the loss of this American hero," said Sheriff Brandon Vance of Tippah County. "This gentleman was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a war veteran, and he continued to fly to save lives."

Vance called the accident a tragic reminder of the hazards hospital flight crews sometimes face.