Drunken Ambulance Pilot Arrested Minutes Before Flight

An Arkansas pilot for a private air ambulance company was arrested on an alcohol-related charge at a Kentucky airport just before he was to fly on a trip with a paralyzed man and his wife.

Stephen Ray Lynn, 51, was arrested Thursday at the Blue Grass Airport. Police say Lynn, of Mena, Ark., was arrested after Polly DeWitt reported smelling alcohol on his breath just before he was scheduled to fly her and her husband to a spinal-cord treatment center in St. Louis.

A jail spokesman said Lynn was released on bond Thursday afternoon.

DeWitt told the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper that the air ambulance had no medical supplies on board and that a woman who she thought was a nurse was sitting nervously, smoking a cigarette inside the plane. DeWitt says the woman was Lynn's girlfriend.

Lynn flies for James Flying Service. When reached at a number for the flying service in Mena on Friday, Lynn said his attorney had told him not to speak to reporters.