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Mercy Flight to resume services nearly two weeks after fatal crash

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Posted at 4:41 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 17:09:47-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — After some time away from operations, Mercy Flight will resume service on Saturday, May 7.

The company suspended flights following a crash of one of its helicopters on April 26 that claimed the lives of two men, James Sauer and Stewart Dietrick, both 60 years old.

"Our employees have banded together during this tragedy like never before," Mercy Flight President Margaret Ferrentino said. "Our helicopter maintenance staff has truly gone above and beyond to assure the mechanical airworthiness of our remaining fleet.”

Mercy Flight Central of Canandaigua provided backup air ambulance service to the area while the safety of the fleet was ensured.

Sauer was a pilot for 40 years and had an impressive career, spanning the military, law enforcement, and as a first responder. He was laid to rest on Monday with full military honors.

Sauer served in the U.S. Army, serving multiple deployments in the war in Iraq, was a police officer in Rochester and Holley, a volunteer firefighter, and served in aviation with New York State Police and New York Army National Guard.