Paramedic accused of killing his wife with eye drops charged with setting fire to medical helicopter in flight

A former North Carolina paramedic charged with killing his wife with eyedrops for the insurance has now been charged with setting a piece of equipment on fire inside a medical helicopter in mid-flight.

Joshua Hunsucker, 36, who is awaiting trial on a first degree murder charge for the death of Stacy Hunsucker, allegedly set fire to a “syringe pump” on board the aircraft at about 1 a.m. on November 26, 2019 — about a month before his arrest for his wife’s death, the Charlotte Observer reports. The fire prompted an emergency landing and a lengthy investigation.

Hunsucker was arrested Monday and charged with felony burning personal property and released on an unsecured $50,000 bond. He’s due in court on that charge on May 18.

Stacy Hunsucker’s death on September 23, 2018, in Mount Holly was originally attributed to natural causes, as CrimeOnline previously reported, but her mother pushed the issue with the North Carolina Department of Insurance, telling investigators she thought her son-in-law had committed insurance fraud.

Joshua Hunsucker had not allowed an autopsy on his wife’s body, but several blood samples were taken because Stacy had wanted to be an organ donor. Those samples revealed a surprise: tetrahydrozoline, found in over-the-counter eye drops and nasal sprays, at levels 30 to 40 times the standard therapeutic dosage, more than enough to trigger a heart attack.

Stacy Hunsucker suffered from heart problems, particularly after the births of both of her children, and had a pacemaker installed. Joshua Hunsucker was arrested for murder just before Christmas in 2018 and released on a $1.5 million bond.

Hunsucker worked for Atrium Health and was fired after he was charged with murder.

Atrium’s vice president of mobile medicine, Jason Schwebach, reported the helicopter incident to police, according to a police report. In a statement provided to the Observer, Atrium noted that safety is key for emergency medical crews, particularly for flight crews.

“If what Mr. Hunsucker is charged with is true, it is unfathomable to us what may have possessed him to endanger himself and others in such a way,” the statement said. “We are extremely thankful that our pilot was able to land safely and that no-one was injured and especially grateful that there were no patients on board.”

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[Featured image: Joshua and Stacy Hunsucker/Joshua Hunsucker Facebook]