PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. (KSAZ)
There are new details about a medical helicopter that crashed near the Superstition Mountains on Tuesday.
FOX 10 is now hearing from the DPS helicopter crew that first came across the wreckage, and from a friend of the line survivor in the crash.
The only survivor of the crash was found in the frigid temperatures for hours, suffering from several broken bones for hours before being found. Rescue crews who found him tell us if it weren't for the night vision goggles that help them see the flashlight, the man might not be alive.
"The survivor was very cold, scared, and obviously very upset, he lost his friends," said DPS Nurse Angela Rose.
"When you get down there and you actually see someone is alive, it becomes a different ball game," said DPS Pilot Scott Clifton.
Clifton and Rose were the first on scene of the crash that killed pilot David Schneider and nurse Chad Frary.
The Native Air helicopter crashed Tuesday night on a mountainside 12 miles north of Superior. Clifton says it was hours before the wreckage was found.
"We were wearing night vision goggles, so we did see a light source instantly, so we descended down close to where the crash site was and obviously could see that there was somebody with a flashlight," said Clifton.
That person with the flashlight was survivor Derek Boehm. He's not in the hospital recovering from his injuries.
"Good people like Derek are few and far in-between, they are truly selfless. You know the risks when you're a flight paramedic or nurse, and it's either in you, or it's not, and it was in him thoroughly," said Lena Walker.
Walker a former co-worker of Boehm's says he suffered two broken femurs and a broken back. She says his recovery will take months if not years, and that is why she started a GoFundMe.com account for the man she says is one of the hardest workers she knows.
"I just really want him to focus on his rehabilitation and healing and getting better and not have to stress about how he's going to support his daughter, or how he's going to support his family," said Walker.