Those who wish to memorialize the three victims of the Mercy Flight crew killed in Tuesday night’s crash, or financially assist their families, have a number of options through Benefis Healthcare Foundation. Gifts may be sent to the foundation with a request that they be divided among the families of the pilot, Vince Kirol, 58; the registered nurse, Darcy Dengel, 27, and paramedic Paul Erickson, 33, who also was a firefighter for the city of Great Falls.
Another option is to donate to a scholarship fund established by the foundation in honor of the crash victims. The foundation committed $25,000 to start the fund, which will present annual scholarships to individuals who are pursuing education in a health-care field. Gifts can be sent to Benefis Healthcare Foundation, P.O. Box 7008, Great Falls MT 59406.
The crash occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday about 15 miles north of Bozeman, where the crew was headed to pick up a patient. The pilot contacted air traffic control shortly before the crash, but didn’t report any problems with the plane, according to a report by the Bozeman Chronicle. The six-passenger Beechcraft Super King Air 200 disappeared from radar and the crash was reported minutes later. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause.