MASON CITY, Iowa- On January 2nd of 2013 a Mercy Air Med helicopter crashed into a field near Ventura killing the pilot nurse and paramedic that were on board. The community then came together to raise around $7 thousand in donations to build a memorial to honor the victims, but we are learning that memorial has been taken down.
The memorial was placed just north of the emergency room entrance near the construction area of the new mental health facility. Those with Mercy Medical Center North Iowa said they removed the memorial for fear of it getting damaged, but Melody Piehl, the wife of Russ Piehl, one of those on board who were killed, wished it was put in a different location for the public to view.
Piehl said she understands the reasoning behind why they moved it, but said there are a number of different locations they could have put it on campus. Now she is worried about the space being available once the construction is complete.
“I would like to see more thought put into it what’s going to be the best interest of the memorial and those who raised the money for the piece,” “You should have to call and ask or go on a scavenger hunt trying to find it.”
Those with the hospital said they wrapped it and moved the piece to a secure Mercy storage unit. They said they had no intentions of disrespecting those touched by the crash, but rather preserve the memorial. They told KIMT they will look to put the memorial back in its original place when the project is complete in the summer of 2019 and if the space is not adequate they will look to move it elsewhere.