Family Celebrates Life of Pilot Killed in Helicopter Crash

Family Celebrates Life of Pilot Killed in Helicopter Crash

Save Story
Leer en espaƱol

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

News Specialist Sandra Yi reportingFuneral services were held today for Life Flight pilot Craig Bingham. He and paramedic Mario Guerrero died Friday night when their helicopter crashed in heavy fog.

It was an emotional ceremony filled with laughter and tears as family and friends gathered to say goodbye.

They say he was a hero in every sense of the word.

"We're all proud of him and we all miss him," says friend and pilot Bill Winn.

"It's not the kind of thing that you can prepare for and that just made it harder for all of us to deal with," he says.

Two Life Flight and Air Med helicopters flew over the grave site as a tribute to the former pilot. Bingham was flying a similar aircraft when he died. He and two other men were on their way to try and save a life.

"He was a great, great person, and I know he wouldn't trade places with anybody," says nephew Todd Cleverly.

Friends remember Bingham with laughter. They say he had a great sense of humor and always set a good example for others.

It's not surprising, they say, that he touched the lives of strangers. One of them was Vietnam veteran Ray Verbeck.

"I came on my own because I knew the love of country that Craig had to be a Life Flight pilot," Verbeck says.

Verbeck, also a former pilot in the Air Force, received the distinguished Flying Cross Medal in 1970. He presented it today to Craig Bingham's wife.

"It meant a great deal to receive it then, and it means that much more to present this to Mrs. Bingham. The distinguished flying cross speaks for itself," Verbeck says.

Funeral services for Paramedic Mario Guerrero were held yesterday in Orem. There will be a public memorial for both men tomorrow morning at 10 at Cottonwood High School.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast