Remains of Duke Life Flight crew escorted home

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The remains of the three crewmembers killed in a Duke Life Flight helicopter crash last week came home Wednesday in a special procession.

Firefighters and ambulance crews gathered on interstate overpasses to salute the three hearses as they came past.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Duke's Eurocopter MBB-BK went down around 11:30 Friday morning in Perquimans County near Belvidere in eastern North Carolina.

Authorities said the helicopter was flying to Duke Medical Center from Sentara Albemarle Medical Center when it crashed.

RELATED: 4 dead in Duke Life Flight helicopter crash in eastern NC

The Duke employees who died in the crash were R.N. flight nurses Kris Harrison and Crystal Sollinger and pilot Jeff Burke.

Harrison's father spoke with ABC11 Wednesday.

"It's a tragedy. An unimaginable tragedy for all the families involved. For Duke, because they are all like family," he said.

He said his son loved being with his work family. And they loved him. Many describing the 44-year-old as dedicated, focused, and a leader. That made his father so proud.

"He was a very fine young man. Just in every way. And I'm his dad, so I can brag on him on that. He was an outstanding father. Great husband. Absolutely adored his family," he said.

Duke has not identified the patient on board due to federal privacy law, but WAVY-TV reports 70-year-old Mary Bartlett was being treated in the helicopter when it crashed, according to her daughter Tiffany Bartlett Thompson.

The helicopter and its crew were based at Johnston Regional Airport, airport officials said.

The cause of the crash is still unknown.

Harrison's family has set up a trust for his daughters. In lieu of flowers, people can donate money by going to Southern Trust Bank, 100 N. Center Street in Mount Olive, NC

Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.