Meet the Victims of the NYC East River Helicopter Crash
Five people were killed in a helicopter crash in New York City’s East River on the night of Sunday, March 11. Pilot Richard Vance was the only survivor of the sightseeing tour that experienced engine failure about 10 minutes in.
He told investigators he believes a passenger harness or a piece of luggage triggered the fuel switch on the helicopter, causing the engine to shut off. Some aviation experts, however, believe that the fuel switch is unlikely to be triggered in that way, and that Vance may have pulled it himself on accident.
But, this is still an investigation in its early stages, so it’s too soon to be jumping to conclusions about the cause of the crash.
We do, however, know some details about the five individuals who died in the crash.
Carla Vallejos Blanco
Carla Vallejos Blanco was from Argentina, on vacation in New York. She studied art, design and communications at the University of Cuenca del Plata in Corrientes, Argentina. She was 29 years old.
Trevor Cadigan was a video journalist who had interned in Dallas at WFAA and most recently at Business Insider. A statement from Business Insider read: “He was a smart, talented, and ambitious young journalist and producer who was well-liked and made a big contribution. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.” Trevor was 26 and lived in Dallas, Texas. A GoFundMe page has raised $30,000 to pay for travel and funeral expenses for his family.
Tristan Hill was a former operations assistant for the Westchester Knicks, an NBA G-League team in White Plains, New York. In a statement, the Knicks said: “Tristan was an incredible colleague, teammate, and friends. He will be remembered by the staff and players as someone who brightened every room he entered, with a contagious smile and an unparalleled enthusiasm for life.” He leaves behind his fiance, Eda Ozmen.
26-year-old Brian McDaniel was a Dallas Fire-Rescue officer. He attended school with fellow victim Trevor Cadigan at Bishop Lynch High School. On Facebook, Dallas Fire-Rescue wrote: “Despite his short tenure, hearts are heavy with grief as we not only try to come to grips with his loss departmentally; but to also be there in every way that we can for his family.”
And, Daniel Thompson was the Board President and chorus member of the non-for-profit Young New Yorkers’ Chorus. He also sang at the East River Catholic Church. He was a customer service lead at Mighty Mongoose, the travel company that offered the helicopter tour. The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus said on Facebook: “His love of music and dedication to the organization and its members will be greatly missed.” Daniel was 34 years old.
Our thoughts are with the victims’ friends and family at this time. Rest In Peace to these five loved individuals whose lives were cut far too short.