CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Gaston County man accused of killing his wife by poisoning her with eyedrops was arrested again on Tuesday, this time in Mecklenburg County, and charged with setting a fire inside a medical helicopter mid-flight.
Joshua Hunsucker was working as a paramedic aboard one of Atrium’s helicopters in November 2019.
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According to police reports, a syringe pump was set on fire, forcing the helicopter to land off of Independence Boulevard.
Channel 9′s Gaston County reporter Ken Lemon spoke to commercial helicopter pilot Danny Hubbard, who said a fire on board mid-flight is the last thing a pilot wants to happen.
Hubbard said the smoke alone could blind a pilot.
“Especially in a confined area like the parking lot of a business or something, you have to set it down, you won’t be able to see the power lines or nothing,” Hubbard said. “1 to 10, it’s a 10.”
Hubbard also pointed out that the fuel tank for those helicopters is under the seats. He said it should be hard to breach, but no pilot in the air or on the ground wants fire that close to fuel.
Atrium Health immediately began an investigation after the incident, which happened one month before Hunsucker was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife and mother of their two children in their Mount Holly home, in December 2019.
He is accused of putting lethal doses of eyedrops in Stacey Hunsucker’s drink. Joshua Hunsucker had his wife cremated right after her death.
She died in 2018, but family members worked to uncover that blood samples taken before her cremation showed high levels of the toxic substance.
By the time of Hunsucker’s second court date in January 2020, Atrium Health told Channel 9 he no longer worked for them.
Hunsucker is still waiting to go on trial in Gaston County for his wife’s murder. Now, he is also facing an arson charge in Mecklenburg County.
He is currently out on bond.