ArkLaTex woman who just lost a son in helicopter crash finds special meaning in mistletoe

ArkLaTex woman who just lost a son in helicopter crash finds special meaning in mistletoe
John Auld III (Source: Family)
John Auld III (Source: Family)
John Auld III (Source: Family)
John Auld III (Source: Family)

(KSLA) - "I'm not sure the good Lord knows what He got himself into, but I'm sure they'll work it out."

Those are the words of a Shreveport woman who learned that her son was one of three people killed Monday in the crash of an air ambulance in eastern Arkansas.

Kim Auld told KSLA News 12 she doesn't believe John Auld III, who goes by Trey, misses them.

"I think it's too euphoric. And I think it's the biggest party he's ever been to. And I think that it's our loss, but it's definitely his gain."

Trey Auld was a former volunteer firefighter in rural Caddo Parish and was a Duke of Fun with the Krewe of Centaur.

"He lived life to the fullest. That is one thing that I can say. He was what we want every Krewe of Centaur member to be, and he did it," said Brian Hammons, the krewe's captain.

"His personality was so infectious," Trey Auld's friend Randy Long told KSLA News 12. "Within the first two or three seconds of meeting him, it's just: 'Let me give you a hug. I want to be like you'."

Kim Auld said the family plans to set up a foundation her son's name.

She asks people to honor his memory by giving back to others just as much as he did, when he started out volunteering with the fire department before he became a flight paramedic. "Almost 10 years of saving lives."

Trey Auld was always like that, his mother recalled.

"He ran a food pantry when he was 15 years old with his pastor.

"And this is the kid who wouldn't even clean out his own pumpkin at Halloween. And that has parlayed into an incredible career."

Trey Auld's mother said the last time she saw him was Saturday morning before he flew out.

In that moment, Kim Auld said, he made her a promise that was kept even in death.

"The morning that he left, we talked about the mistletoe in his front tree and how we couldn't shoot it down in the city like we did in the country.

"He said: 'Don't worry, Mama.' He said: 'I'll make sure you have mistletoe.' And I pulled up into his yard this morning and had a big bough of mistletoe in the yard. And so I'm taking that as a sign that we're all going to be OK."

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management reports that the Pafford Air One helicopter on which Trey Auld was traveling crashed in the Arkansas County city of DeWitt.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the medical helicopter was flying from Pine Bluff, Ark., to DeWitt at the time of the wreck, the Associated Press reports.

Pine Bluff-based Pafford Air One is a sister company to Pafford Medical Services.

Pafford EMS has confirmed to KSLA News 12 that Trey Auld was their flight paramedic on board the helicopter.

Killed along with him were 46-year-old Air Methods pilot Michael Bollen of Hot Springs, Ark., and 61-year-old Pafford flight nurse James Spruiell, of Sulligent, Ala.

No patient was on board.

Pafford EMS's statement adds:

"The crash occurred during a response from the helicopter's station in Pine Bluff, AR to Helena Regional Medical Center in Helena, AR. The Bell 407 GXP medical helicopter is owned, operated and maintained for Pafford Air One by Air Methods Corporation. The cause of the crash is not known. However, the investigation is in its early stages."

Pafford EMS Louisiana posted the following on its Facebook page:

Additional details about what caused the crash are not yet known.

At last report, FAA investigators were headed to the crash site and the National Transportation Safety Board had been notified.

Copyright 2017 KSLA/Associated Press. All rights reserved.