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John Holland

Oct 16 2000

Dept / Duke Life Flight

John Holland died when the Life Flight helicopter he was piloting crashed in a vacant lot in Burlington, North Carolina. On October 16, 2000 Life Flight II was returning to Duke University Medical Center from Alamance Regional Medical Center when the crash occurred. John had been called to pick up a patient. Upon landing at the site he noticed a warning light indicating low oil pressure and called maintenance personnel. The patient that Holland was supposed to retrieve was sent ahead by ambulance. After an inspection, the helicopter was cleared for takeoff. On his return flight alone, minutes after departing the Alamance Center, the helicopter went down exploding in a fiery explosion. "By all accounts, he used skill to avoid homes and lives when he tried to set the helicopter down," said Larry Pietropaulo, vice president of Corporate Jets, which owned the helicopter.

Mr. Holland, 39, attended the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned into the United Stated Marine Corps. John served his country for the next 11 years, finishing his career with a search and rescue squadron at MCAS, Cherry Point. He started flying with Corporate Jets in 1994 where he served with Star Medevac in Pittsburgh before being transferred to Duke University's Life/Flight Care. John was described as good-natured and safety-conscious. "It's a huge loss for Duke," said Edward Eroe, assistant operating officer for emergency services. "Though John was also a member of the Duke family," said hospital CEO Michael Israel, "we mourn his loss."

His wife Pamela, son Jeffrey, daughters Lindsey and Kate, mother Lynn Holland Spence, stepfather Gene Spence, sister Leslie Dixon, and a brother Mark Holland, survive John A. Holland.

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