Hundreds of Juneau residents turn out Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in 8-degree weather for a candlelight vigil at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park for the Guardian medical flight crew that lost their lives in a plane crash. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Hundreds of Juneau residents turn out Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in 8-degree weather for a candlelight vigil at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park for the Guardian medical flight crew that lost their lives in a plane crash. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Friday ceremony at JDHS will honor victims of Guardian crash

Tribute will include dozens of family members

Guardian Flight and local authorities are holding a tribute service Friday for employees who were killed in a crash in January, and it’s expected to be a large event.

The memorial will take place at 1 p.m. Friday at the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé auditorium. The approximately 80-minute ceremony will honor pilot Patrick Coyle, flight nurse Stacie Rae Morse and flight paramedic Margaret Langston. Morse was pregnant with a child she planned to name Delta Rae.

Anybody is welcome at the event, and doors open at noon. Around 45 family members of the victims will be in attendance, Capital City Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief Ed Quinto estimated. Quinto is acting as the liaison between local authorities and Guardian Flight organizers.

[Community pays respect to those aboard missing plane]

Personnel from Guardian, CCFR, the Juneau Police Department, the U.S. Coast Guard and American Medical Response (the national organization that Guardian’s a part of) will be involved, Quinto said. Guardian Executive Director Jared Sherman said there will also be people from the other two local medevac companies — Airlift Northwest and Life Med Alaska — will also be in attendance.

During the ceremony, people from these organizations will speak, as will representatives from each family. Sherman said people from the town of Kake — which was the flight’s destination when it crashed Jan. 29 — will also speak.

“The Kake community really stepped up during that search and the search process,” Sherman said, “so we felt connected and wanted to make sure they were part of this tribute.”

For those who can’t make it, the ceremony will be live-streamed at alaska.guardianflight.com. A simultaneous ceremony will be happening in Anchorage, Sherman said, and the two events will coordinate to have a moment of silence at the same time.

[Juneau climber survives 30-foot fall]

Toward the end of the ceremony, family members will be presented with flags, Sherman said. If the weather cooperates, there will be a fly-over with a Temsco helicopter and possibly a Coast Guard helicopter, Sherman said.

Organizers expect a large turnout, and will have overflow seating with TVs outside the auditorium, Quinto said.

The tragedy resonates with first responders, Quinto said, and they’re looking forward to working with Guardian to put the event together.

“At any moment,” Quinto said, “this can happen to any of us.”


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


More in News

This photo shows a multi-vehicle carport following an early morning fire. (Courtesy Photo / Capital City Fire/Rescue)
Firefighters extinguish early morning carport fire

The fire marshal will investigate.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, contracting with Coastal Helicopters, works to reduce avalanche risk on Thane Road by setting off avalanches in a controlled fashion on Feb. 5, 2021.(Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Thane Road to close Saturday morning for avalanche hazard reduction

Thane Road will be closed for two hours Saturday morning to allow… Continue reading

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Viruses are constantly mutating, with coronavirus variants circulating around the globe. (NIAID-RML)
COVID at a glance for Friday, March 5

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Viruses are constantly mutating, with coronavirus variants circulating around the globe. (NIAID-RML)
COVID at a glance for Thursday, March 4

The most recent state and local numbers.

Police Car
Police calls for Thursday, March 5, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This Sept. 2008 photo provided by the Center for Whale Research taken near Washington state’s San Juan Islands shows scientists looking for clues about the diet of the Pacific Northwest’s endangered orcas using a pool skimmer to collect the scales or other remains of salmon the whales had eaten. A long-term study published Wednesday, March 3, 2021, reaffirmed the importance of Chinook salmon to the whales even when they cruise the outer Pacific Coast, where the fish are harder to find. (Ken Balcomb / Center for Whale Research)
Study: Chinook salmon are key to Northwest orcas all year

That includes fish that spawn in California’s Sacramento River all the way to the Taku River.

Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., listens during the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior secretary, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Some Republican senators labeled Haaland “radical” over her calls to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and address climate change, and said that could hurt rural America and major oil and gas-producing states. The label of Haaland as a “radical” by Republican lawmakers is getting pushback from Native Americans. (Jim Watson / Pool Photo)
Senate energy panel backs Haaland for interior secretary

Murkowski was the lone Republican to support Haaland.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Viruses are constantly mutating, with coronavirus variants circulating around the globe. (NIAID-RML)
COVID at a glance for Wednesday, March 3

The most recent state and local numbers.

Most Read