UPDATE: 5 killed in Care Flight plane crash identified

Lyon County Care Flight Fatal Plane Crash
Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 12:05 AM PST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2023 at 3:51 PM PST
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STAGECOACH, Nev. (KOLO) - FEB. 27 UPDATE: The Washoe County Regional Examiner has identified the five victims of the Care Flight plane crash.

They are identified as:

  • 32-year-old Edward Pricola of the flight medical crew
  • 69-year-old Mark Rand, a patient
  • 66-year-old Terri Rand, a passenger and spouse of the patient
  • 27-year-old Ryan Watson of the flight medical crew
  • 46-year-old Scott Walton, the pilot

All five were pronounced dead at the scene and were identified by fingerprint comparison.

An autopsy revealed the cause of death for all five was multiple blunt force injuries.

FEB. 26 AFTERNOON UPDATE: A Care Flight medical flight that crashed Friday in Lyon County broke up before hitting the ground, a National Transportation Safety Board member said Sunday.

Speaking about the crash in Stagecoach that killed five people, including a patient being flown to Salt Lake City and his wife, NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said an outboard section of the right wing, a horizontal stabilizer, and an elevator broke off before the crash.

They were found about a half mile to three-quarters of a mile away, Landsberg said.

There was no flight data recorder on the flight and none is required by law, Landsberg said. It is something the NTSB would like changed.

There was also no distress call from the pilot.

There was nothing Friday night in the weather that precluded them from flying, he said. “It was pretty much a normal evening,” Landsberg said.

It’s still early in the investigation. “I think it is too soon at this point to rule anything in and anything out,” Landsberg said.

The Pilatus PC-12 is designed to fly in less-than-ideal conditions, he said. It crashed about 24 miles southwest of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

The electronic systems on the aircraft may have recorded information that would be useful in the investigation.

The NTSB team expects to be here at least through Saturday. They will collect the parts and ship them to Phoenix to try to piece them together, and some parts could be examined at a microscopic level at NTSB headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The final report could be 18 months out.

Any witnesses who have information about this case are asked to email witness@ntsb.gov.

FEB. 25 AFTERNOON UPDATE: REMSA is offering help to the families of those killed Friday night in a Care Flight crash, REMSA Health President and CEO Barry Duplantis said Saturday afternoon in a press conference.

The agency held a press conference to give a brief update following the crash in Stagecoach that killed five, including a patient, a member of the patient’s family and Care Flight staff.

REMSA is also making help available to other REMSA employees who need it, Duplantis said.

The National Transportation and Safety Board is sending a team to investigate the crash and they will answer questions about the cause of the crash and any of their finding, Duplantis said. The NTSB said it will hold a press conference on Sunday.

REMSA is an acronym for the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority and handles ground ambulances in the Reno area and air medical transport in western Nevada. Guardian Flight is the aviation vendor for REMSA.

FEB. 25 MORNING UPDATE: The National Transportation Safety Board is sending seven people to investigate Friday’s Care Flight crash in Stagecoach.

The team members are heading to Nevada from several locations and should all arrive by Saturday night, the NTSB said.

They also plan on a press briefing Sunday on the Pilatus PC-12 crash that killed five, but details have not been announced yet. The medical flight took off from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport heading to Utah when it crashed.

ORIGINAL STORY: Five people are dead after Care Flight medical flight crashed Friday night in Stagecoach, REMSA Health said. The people killed in the crash were a pilot, a flight nurse, a flight paramedic, a patient and a patient’s family member.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office said it received several calls at about 9:15 p.m. about the crash. Sheriff’s deputies, the Central Lyon County Fire Protection District, Lyon County Search and Rescue and Douglas County Search and Rescue responded.

The sheriff’s office said searchers found the aircraft at about 11:15 p.m. REMSA identified the plane as a PC 12 fixed-wing aircraft with tail number N273SM.

The investigation continues and more information will be provided when it is available, the sheriff’s office said.

REMSA released a statement early Saturday saying “Our immediate focus is helping our team members and families, as well as the responding agencies... As is Guardian and Care Flight’s safety process in these situations, we are in a passive stand down for all Guardian and Care Flight flights across the company. We will work with each of our operations to ascertain when they are able to return to service.”

Stagecoach is about 40 miles east of Reno by driving and about 15 miles west of Silver Springs.

Gofundme says the have verified the fundraisers for the families of the victims.

Care Flight Paramedic Ryan Watson


Savanah Green shared Ryan Watson just became a father in January. Green also described the flight paramedic as an incredible care provider with a strong dedication to his community and family. “Ryan loved being a Flight Medic and brought a positive attitude to every call and patient interaction he had,” the fundraiser reads.

Help family of pilot in fatal Care Flight crash


Katie Maguire Walton shared Scott Walton, the pilot killed, is her brother-in-law. Walton is a father of three daughters. “Transporting patients to receive life-saving care was an absolute passion and life’s mission for Scott,” Walton said.

Ed Pricola, REMSA Careflight RN, BSN


Kleine Calvo set up this fundraiser to help support the wife and children of Ed Pricola, a flight nurse killed in the crash. Calvo said the 32-year-old nurse started his Care Flight journey last fall. He leaves behind the love of his life, Lauren, and their two children.

Financial support


Aaron McCrea shared Pricola was his close friend, and set up a GoFundMe to help support his family during this tragic time.

The Rand family


Misty Gruenemay created this fundraiser to help support the Rand family following the loss of Mark and Terri Rand. According to the fundraiser, Mark was on his way to receive a life-saving medical treatment. “Mark and Terri were big hearted, family oriented, proud parents and grandparents,” the fundraiser organizer said.

If you’re interested in getting in touch with the GoFundMe organizer, the “Contact” button on the GoFundMe will send a direct email to their email address on file here at GoFundMe.