Miss. flight nurse who died in medical helicopter crash escorted home
Pafford EMS vehicles led a procession that left Little Rock, Arkansas, Friday morning carrying Spruiell’s body to Sulligent, Alabama, for the funeral
Nov 25, 2017
By William Moore
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
TUPELO, Miss. — Former North Mississippi Medical Center chief flight nurse Jim Spruiell made his way back home to Sulligent, Alabama, Friday from Arkansas.
Spruiell, 61, was one of three people who died in a medical helicopter crash in rural Arkansas Nov. 19. The helicopter, which was operated by Pafford EMS and Air Methods, was en route from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to DeWitt, Arkansas, when the crash occurred.
Pafford EMS vehicles led a procession that left Little Rock, Arkansas, Friday morning carrying Spruiell’s body to Sulligent, Alabama, for the funeral Sunday. The Mississippi Highway Patrol motorcycle unit escorted the procession on its leg through Mississippi.
The procession route for Mr. Jim Spruiell. We will depart Little Rock on Friday 11/24 at 10 AM following this route of travel.
All are welcome to show your support anywhere along the way. https://t.co/rMJQB7uR3Y pic.twitter.com/OXxwjDj2kj
— #PaffordStrong (@angiespr23) November 24, 2017
In Tupelo, about 20 motorcycles with the Patriot Guard and about a dozen ambulances from Northeast Mississippi joined the procession.
“We are going to ride with them all the way to the funeral home in Sulligent,” said Greg Underwood, of Aberdeen, the assistant state captain of the Patriot Guard.
HONORING A HERO:
Batesville FD and Lifeguard Ambulance Service honor fallen flight nurse Jim Spruiell as he is taken to Sulligent, Ala. Spruiell and 2 others were killed in a medical helicopter crash earlier this week near Dewitt, Ark. pic.twitter.com/QROCJ8uaKa
— Therese Apel (@TRex21) November 24, 2017
Several hundred people gathered Friday afternoon near the North Mississippi Medical Center Careflight hangar at the Tupelo Regional Airport. Air ambulances from Oxford and Corinth touched down as well.
“We just wanted to gather to show our respects for Jim,” said Kathy Terrell, director of Emergency Services for NMMC. “We have folks here from several service lines. For the funeral, there will be multiple flyovers.”
The funeral is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. inside the gymnasium at Sulligent High School.
Spruiell joined the NMMC staff in 1992. He became a flight paramedic in 1997 and chief flight nurse in 2001.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. The cause has not been determined.
Copyright 2017 Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal