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Helicopter crash in Ky kills three, including one originally from Church Hill

Associated Press and Staff report • Jun 8, 2013 at 12:24 AM

MANCHESTER, Ky. -- A medical helicopter crashed in eastern Kentucky, killing all three crewmembers aboard.

A statement from Air Evac Lifeteam said the accident happened in Clay County at 11:16 p.m. Thursday.

There was no patient on board. WHAS radio reported that the helicopter came down in the parking lot of Paces Creek Elementary School outside Manchester, which is about 90 miles southeast of Lexington, in what witnesses described as a dense fog.

Ed Ray, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Jackson, Ky., office said he didn't have any information about fog in the area but said there was no violent weather overnight in the area of the crash.

The company identified the crewmembers as pilot Eddie Sizemore, flight paramedic Herman "Lee" Dobbs and flight nurse Jesse Jones. They were on their way back to base in Manchester after transporting a patient to a hospital in London, Ky.

Lee Dobbs' brother-in-law contacted the Times-News and informed us that Dobbs was orginally from Church Hill and has friends and family in the area.

Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency released a statement on their Facebook page Friday morning stating, "We are saddened by the news of the passing of a paramedic from Hawkins County, TN. Flight Paramedic Herman "Lee" Dobbs and his crew Pilot Eddie Sizemore and Flight Nurse Jesse Jones were killed in a helicopter crash in Eastern Kentucky. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone touched by this tragedy."

Flight Paramedic Herman "Lee" Dobbs was a native of Church Hill and Volunteer High School graduate.

Laurel County Sheriff's spokesman Gilbert Acciardo told the Lexington Herald-Leader that Sizemore had retired as a deputy from the sheriff's office, but returned in 2011 before leaving the position to become a pilot for Air Evac Lifeteam.

"He enjoyed flying," Acciardo said. "That was his passion."

Air Evac Lifeteam President and CEO Seth Myers said the company is devastated by the loss of the crew.

Federal air safety officials planned to investigate the accident.

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