Victims of air ambulance helicopter crash honored

Procession to funeral home solemn ceremony

Fresno, Calif. - Colleagues, friends and well-wishers honored two victims of the deadly air ambulance helicopter crash as they returned home a final time Tuesday evening.

People lined streets holding signs and candles as a procession including first responders, fire trucks, ambulances and the victims made their way to a funeral home.

37-year-old paramedic Kyle Juarez and 42-year-old critical care nurse Marco Lopez were killed when their helicopter crashed Thursday near McFarland.

The two were transporting a critically ill woman from Porterville to Bakersfield when their helicopter went down Thursday night in northern Kern County about ten minutes into the 20-minute trip.

The coroner released the bodies of those killed in the crash.  The procession marks the final trip home for these two victims.  Meanwhile, a similar ceremony took place in Hanford.

President of American Ambulance Todd Valeri says Kyle Juarez and Marco Lopez are heroes for how they served others, "A hero to me is someone who puts their well being behind someone else's. And these guys have cared for hundreds if not thousands of people thru the sky life program."

Juarez and Lopez were filling-in Thursday night.  They had taken the shifts of other coworkers who wanted to attend the company Christmas party that night.

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