MILWAUKEE — A helicopter with Flight for Life Wisconsin was grounded on its way to the scene of a collision between a van and motorcycle in Menomonee Falls because of the thick haze and horrible air quality across the region on Tuesday.
As initially reported by TMJ4, the poor visibility across southeastern Wisconsin from wildfire smoke is below the FAA requirements for Flight for Life helicopters to safely operate. Since they were unable to respond to this crash, the speed with which victim(s) could be transported away from the scene in Menomonee Falls was slowed.
The following statement by Menomonee Falls Police Department Captain of Police Gene Neyhart was obtained by TMJ4:
“The driver of the motorcycle was conveyed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and we currently have officers on scene conducting an investigation into the specifics and cause of the crash to include witness interviews. I do not have any updates on the driver of the motorcycle at this time.”
Leif Erickson, who is the the Executive Director of Flight for Life Wisconsin Operations, told TMJ4 that this was the first time in his career that visibility was too poor for Flight for Life aerial services to be deployed.
This isn’t an isolated instance either as poor visibility and terrible air quality have forced outdoor events across the state to either postpone, cancel or move their plans.
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