HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A medical helicopter crashed on an isolated ranch in a national forest early Sunday, killing a patient and three crew members and strewing debris over a wide area.

The PHI Air Medical helicopter crew was taking a 58-year-old patient from a hospital in Huntsville to one in Houston for surgery, said Butch Davis, Walker County chief sheriff's deputy.

The flight left Huntsville Memorial Hospital at 2:45 a.m., and the hospital lost contact with it two minutes later, Davis said. Searchers didn't find the wreckage in the Sam Houston National Forest for almost six hours.