First victims of the Hawaii helicopter crash identified, one body still missing

first_imgiStock/Lifeguard(NEW YORK) — Authorities have preliminary identifications for the pilot and two passengers that were aboard a helicopter that crashed this week during a tour of the Kauai’s Nā Pali Coast in Hawaii.Officials said the pilot was 69-year-old Paul Matero, of Wailua and two of the tourists, were 47-year-old Amy Gannon and 13-year-old Jocelyn Gannon, both of Wisconsin.“Four other passengers are believed to be a family from Switzerland, however, their identities have not yet been released at this time,” according to the press release issued on Saturday by the Kauai Police Department.The body of one of the victims from Switzerland has not been recovered, officials said.All seven were on a Safari Helicopter Tour on Thursday and last seen around 4:30 p.m. leaving the Waimea Canyon area. The wreckage was found on Friday afternoon in Kōke’e “near steep, remote terrain between Miloli‘i Ridge Road and Nu‘alolo Trail,” officials said.“The Safari Helicopter family, along with the broader community, mourn the loss of seven lives that were on Thursday’s sightseeing flights,” Safari Helicopter Tours said in a statement on Saturday. “We mourn with the family members of those who were lost in the tragic accident. Among those lost, is our Chief Pilot, Paul Matero.”The company, which said Matero had 12 years of experience on Kauai, said it is fully cooperating with the NTSB and the FAA to determine the cause of this week’s crash.“We would like to express our appreciation to members of the U.S. Coast guard, Hawaii Fire Department and many of our colleagues in the helicopter community who volunteer their assistance in the search operations,” the company said in a statement. “Our prayers and love go out to all that are affected by the tragedy.”Recovery efforts continued on Saturday.Autopsies to positively confirm all identities are still pending.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more