Fla. Crash Kills Doc Getting Heart For Transplant

By Salon Staff

Published December 27, 2011 12:00AM (EST)

MIAMI (AP) — A heart that a Mayo Clinic surgeon was on his way to pick up when he died in a helicopter crash cannot be transplanted.

The Mayo Clinic says Dr. Luis Bonilla and procurement technician David Hines were on their way to a University of Florida hospital in Gainesville to retrieve a heart for a transplant in Jacksonville when the helicopter went down early Monday.

Mayo Clinic spokesman Layne Smith says the heart cannot be used in another transplant because its viability expired. Smith says the patient who had been scheduled to receive the heart continues to wait for a new organ.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the helicopter crashed about 12 miles northeast of Palatka. The pilot also was killed.

The National Transportation Safety Board also was investigating.

Salon Staff

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