A Guardian Flight medical plane crashed on Friday, February 24, 2023, killing five people, including the pilot, Scott Walton. According to officials, the merci flight crashed mostly due to bad weather conditions in the mountainous area of Nevada.
The fixed-wing Care Flight aircraft reportedly vanished from the radar while it was near Stagecoach around 9:45 pm. Soon after, distress calls were made to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office about a possible plane crash.
According to officials, five people were killed in the plane crash, however, their identities were not initially revealed. The victims included the pilot Scott Walton, a medic, a flight nurse, a patient, and the patient’s family member. The patient was later identified as Mark “Bear” Rand who was on the plane with his wife Terri.
A GoFundMe campaign has also been launched to provide financial aid to Scott Walton’s family.
Scott Walton was the pilot of the merci flight which crashed in Nevada and killed five people
After the medical plane crashed in the mountainous region of Nevada, the rescue teams which were called took nearly 90 minutes to find the plane. It was found in a community around 45 miles southeast of Reno.
A statement released by Care Flight addressed the plane crash and revealed that the aircraft with tail number N273SM crashed on Friday. The statement further said that they were working on informing the families of the crash victims.
The plane, which was piloted by Walton, was on its way to Utah for Mark Rand to receive life-saving medical treatment. Two different GoFundMe pages have been set up for both Mark Rand and Scott Walton.
The GoFundMe for Rand was set up by Misty Gruenemay, and it says:
“What was supposed to be a saving grace, ended in tragedy for the Rand family and the families of the crew and first responders on board.”
A fundraiser has been initiated to raise funds to provide financial assistance to the deceased pilot’s family
Walton's fundraiser was set up by his sister-in-law Katie Maguire Walton. The pilot was a father of three girls and is described as someone who was “dedicated to helping patients access vital medical treatments.”
The description of the fundraiser added:
"Transporting patients to receive life-saving care was an absolute passion and life’s mission for Scott.”
The GoFundMe post further stated that Scott's family is "left to navigate the future without him." It noted that Scott loved his family more than anything and added:
“We know his one, desperate worry will be their future.”
The fundraiser aimed at raising $100,000, and has already raised over $90,190 at the time of writing this. Scott has been described as an excellent pilot, and he spent years as a flight instructor. Over 1000 donors have donated and have also offered words of support for Scott’s family.
An investigating team was also sent to the crash site by the National Transportation Safety Board.