MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Family and friends said their final goodbyes to the nurse who was killed in a medical helicopter crash last week.

Deb Schott, 58, died after a North Memorial Health helicopter crashed at a Brainerd airport last Friday morning. The pilot, Tim McDonald, also died. An investigation on what caused the crash is ongoing.

A visitation was held before a stream of ambulances and squad cars escorted her casket to the funeral inside the high school in Howard Lake Wednesday afternoon. Somber was the word to describe the scene, but also it was powerful and encouraging to see the hundreds of officers who came from all over Minnesota.

Schott was a registered nurse with Ridgeview Emergency Dept and a flight nurse for North Air Care.

She lived in Lester Prairie. Schott and her husband were classic car enthusiasts. She loved her grandchildren and travel, according to her husband.

Chief Patrick Callahan, from Zumbrota Police, knew the family well and was here to support them while also standing with the community as a whole. He said his job has taught him to take nothing for granted.

“Anytime someone dies in the line of duty in this public safety field, we all feel it,” he said. “We have risks in our job … it’s just really hard.”

A third crew member survived the crash. Federal investigators are looking into what happened.

The FAA cleared North Memorial Health to start flying again, but North Memorial Health’s helicopters will stay grounded while co-workers grieve.

Christiane Cordero

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