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March 22, 2004 - Four, One an Infant, Die in Copter Crash

A medical helicopter airlifting a baby suffering from respiratory distress crashed in poor weather, killing the infant, his mother, the pilot and a paramedic.

The Bell 407 helicopter, based at Odessa's Medical Center Hospital, was found early Sunday in a remote area of rural West Texas. It was headed from Big Bend Regional Hospital in Alpine to University Medical Center in Lubbock.

The dead were identified as Medical Center Hospital CareStar pilot Mickey Price, 46, of Dumas; hospital paramedic Paul Lujan, 32, of Odessa; Ana Lillia Urias, 20, and 3-month-old Pedro Urias Modesto, both of Mexico.

Medical Center Hospital registered nurse Ronald Stephens, 35, of Midland, survived the crash and was taken to Covenant Hospital in Lubbock. He was in critical condition Sunday afternoon.

Urias and her baby had crossed the U.S.-Mexican border to seek medical help, said CeCe Wilmes, director of emergency services and flight services at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating, but it may be some time before they determine what happened.

The report says gusty winds, rain and lightning were in the area at the time of the storm, but it has not been determined if weather was a factor in the accident.

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