OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – The two members of Lifesaver 4 out of Sylacauga who tragically lost their lives Sunday after their helicopter crashed both had connections to Opelika. A third crew member was critically injured. 

43-year-old Adam Russell worked with East Alabama Medical Center as a paramedic from 2005-2009 before going on to work with Life Saver 4.

Austin Bayles, Lee County’s EMS Operations Manager, tells WRBL he had the pleasure of working with Adam at the Opelika hospital. 

“Adam was a hard worker and always had a positive attitude. He had great patient care skills and an excellent bedside manner.  I knew his career goal was to be a flight nurse. He was a co-worker and a good friend. After he started with Life Saver 4, he was the same upbeat, hard worker I remembered. Adam will be missed greatly by so many people. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Life Saver family,” said Bayles.

Pilot Marc Gann also perished in the crash. An Opelika classmate tells WRBL Gann attended Opelika High School before entering the military.

The deadly crash happened as the medical chopper was responding to a call from a hiker experiencing a medical emergency. The hiker was not on board.

The crash is under investigation by the NTSB and FAA.