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Investigators still not sure what caused 2008 La Crosse fatal med-flight crash

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The National Transportation Safety Board still cannot say exactly why a medical helicopter crashed last May near La Crosse, killing all three people aboard.

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The agency said there was heavy fog and rain that night.

New reports said two Wisconsin med-flight crews decided not to fly because of the fog, and one ended a mission early.

The NTSB said a chopper team from the Mayo Medical Center in Eau Claire rejected flights to Arcadia, La Crosse, and Rochester, Minn. It aborted a flight to Alma Center and finished the trip with a ground ambulance.

Also, investigators at a chopper from Gundersen Lutheran Hospital of La Crosse refused to fly to Winona, Minn.

A team from the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison sent a patient from Prairie du Chien to a La Crosse hospital the night of May 10. While flying home the plane struck a bluff. Dr. Darren Beane, nurse Mark Coyne and pilot Steve Lipperer were killed.

Their patient, an 86-year-old woman, died a few hours after the crash.

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