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    Care Flight workers recovering from crash

    By AMY WIMMER, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 1, 2002

    CLEARWATER -- The local crew members of an air ambulance that crashed Friday in Lexington, Ky., are recovering at Kentucky hospitals.

    The patient on board, Louise Babb, 77, a former Lexington resident who was ill with pneumonia and traveling for treatment by her doctors in Kentucky, was killed in the crash. Her husband, John Babb, 76, was in critical condition Saturday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

    The crew members, identified Saturday by the Clearwater-based air ambulance company, Care Flight, were pilot Miles Lansing, 40, who recently moved to the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area from Miami; chief flight nurse Diana Burgess; and first officer Jim Hensel, 39, of Clearwater.

    Hensel is a captain at the Safety Harbor Fire Department. He was listed in serious condition at the university hospital. Burgess, whose husband, Ed Burgess, is a Pinellas Park firefighter and paramedic, is in critical condition at the hospital.

    "We've got our fingers crossed, and we're just waiting to get news like everyone else is," Safety Harbor Deputy Chief Ed Martens said Saturday. He said Hensel had suffered neck and back injuries.

    Lansing remains at St. Joseph Hospital, also in Lexington. According to hospital administrators, his family requested that no information about him be released. In a press release Saturday afternoon, Care Flight reported that Lansing was recovering in the hospital's intensive care unit.

    The 1971 Learjet crashed at the end of the runway while trying to land at Blue Grass Airport Friday, authorities said. It plunged down a hill and onto U.S. 60, striking a coal truck.

    -- Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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