MIAMI, Florida – Delvin Major, the Chief Investigator of the Air Accident Investigation Department in The Bahamas announced that investigations have begun today in Florida into the July 4 helicopter crash that killed American Billionaire Chris Cline and six other citizens.
The police here on Monday officially released the names of those killed when the helicopter crashed during the early hours of July 4, two miles off the private island, Big Grand Cay, of the 61-year-old billionaire, Christopher Cline.
They have been identified as Cline’s 22-year-old daughter, Kameron Nicole Cline, close friends of Kameron, 21-year-old Brittney Layne Searson, 23–year-old Delaney Lee Wykle, and 23-year-old Jillian Nicole Clarke, pilot 52-year-old Geoffrey Lee Painter and family friend, 26-year-old David Jude.
A brief police statement said that investigations into the crash are ongoing and last week, while he attended the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit in St. Lucia, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis extended condolences to the families of the seven American nationals.
He told reporters that while he could not make a statement on the accident “the Bahamas will do all in its powers to see them through this tragedy”.
Major said the helicopter had departed Grand Cay and was en route to Fort Lauderdale, Florida when it crashed. He said search and rescue efforts began after the aircraft was reported “overdue” by authorities. The aircraft and all of the bodies were recovered by authorities.
Major said that the wreckage had been sent to Jacksonville and should arrive by Tuesday and that teams from Italy, Canada and the National Transportation Safety Board in the United States would be assisting in the investigation.
“So, it will be myself and those additional state representatives and they will also be bringing their specialists who are trained on different aspects of the aircraft.
“So, we will have a full team of investigators who will be laying out the wreckage and documenting to verify all of the wreckage was actually recovered from the ocean, and after that process, there will be a time where we will start documenting each part that was found,” he said, adding “there are specific parts that I’m sure these different experts will be looking at.
“So we do plan to be there for at least a week to fully document and layout and analyze what wreckage was recovered,” he told the Nassau Guardian newspaper.
In a statement released to the media, the Cline family said “We are all so deeply saddened to announce the deaths of our beloved father Chris and our sister Kameron. This loss will be felt by all those who had the privilege of having known them. Chris was one of West Virginia’s strongest sons, an American original, full of grit, integrity, intelligence and humor, a testament that our hopes and dreams are achievable when we believe and commit ourselves to action. Our sister, Kameron was a bright light to all who knew her, loving, smart, compassionate and full of joy and enthusiasm for life and other people. Their legacy of love and inspiration will live on through all of us. We love and miss them dearly but take comfort knowing they are with God now. We ask for prayers and privacy in our time of grieving.”
The Searson and Wykle family are also asking for privacy.