A Lifeflight of Maine helicopter takes off from Maine Medical Center's landing pad in Portland. The pictured helicopter is not the one that was hit on Sunday. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

A LifeFlight helicopter was disabled Monday morning after it was struck by an ambulance while responding to a crash.

The helicopter remains grounded in East Machias Monday, unable to fly.

LifeFlight had arrived Monday after midnight to transport a person who had been injured in a motor vehicle crash, according to Thomas Judge, executive director of LifeFlight of Maine. It was on the ground, shut down, at Washington Academy when an ambulance operated by the town of Machias struck a main rotor blade, Judge said.

Bill Kitchen, town manager for Machias, confirmed that a town-owned ambulance was involved in the crash, but said he did not have other details about what happened. He said he is still trying to find out how much damage was done to the ambulance when it struck the helicopter.

A second helicopter was dispatched to transport the patient after the first helicopter was disabled, Judge said.

Engineers are examining the damaged helicopter to determine whether it can be fixed on site, perhaps by replacing the rotor blade, or if it might have to be taken by truck back to Bangor to be fixed there, he said.

“It can’t be flown until we complete the engineering,” Judge said. “We have a team up there. This will take at least a couple of days.”

Information about the motor vehicle accident that resulted in LifeFlight being called to East Machias was unavailable Monday afternoon.

Correction: An earlier version of the story included inaccurate information about when the ambulance struck the helicopter. 

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....