Three British tourists were killed and three others were injured in a Grand Canyon helicopter crash the night of Feb. 10. According to a report in the Daily Mail, the deceased were identified as veterinary receptionist Becky Dobson, 27, and brothers Jason Hill, 32, and Stuart Hill, 30. Those who survived were identified as Jennifer Barham, 39, pilot Scott Booth, 42, and newlyweds Ellie Milward, 29, and Jonathan Udall, 32.
The six friends from the U.K. reportedly spent a year saving for a trip to the United States to celebrate Stuart Hill’s 30th birthday. The chopper crashed during a 50-mph storm on the Hualapai Nation reservation near the Grand Canyon’s West Rim. Booth, the pilot, was airlifted to an area hospital where he remains in critical condition. The three survivors also suffered critical injuries.
Witnesses watched in horror as the helicopter plummeted 600 feet into the rocky canyon and burst into flames before the survivors were seen staggering out of the wreckage. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the incident. It is still not clear what caused the accident and an official investigation could take several months to be completed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it doesn’t know what caused the chopper to crash either.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of Hill brothers and Dobson whose lives were tragically lost in this helicopter crash. We also wish the injured victims the very best for a quick and full recovery.
Protecting Victims’ Rights
Based on this news report, it is unclear as to what caused this fatal helicopter crash. There are still several unanswered questions here. Why did the pilot decide to take off with the tourists during a major storm? Did the helicopter come down due to equipment malfunction? Did a dangerous or defective part cause or contribute to the crash? Was the helicopter properly maintained? These are probably just some of several issues the NTSB and other investigators are looking into in order to arrive at the truth.
We hope the families of the deceased are getting the support they very much need during this time of grief. We also hope the injured victims are getting the treatment they need to get on the road to recovery. In this particular case, victims and their families would also be well advised to contact a reputed aviation accident law firm that would be able to stay abreast of the official investigation and help protect their legal rights.