CALIFORNIA, USA – Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, has been confirmed dead following a helicopter crash in California, near the Nevada border, United States of America.
The tragic event occurred on Friday, February 9, 2024, at night, marking a sorrowful moment for both the business and aviation communities.
According to reports, the helicopter, identified as a Eurocopter EC130, met its ill fate near Nipton, California, an unincorporated area approximately 60 miles south of Las Vegas, in the eastern part of San Bernardino County.
Reliable sources report that his wife, Chizoba, son, and another Nigerian, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the group chairman of Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group, also perished in the helicopter crash.
The crash happened around 10 p.m. local time, under circumstances that are yet to be fully disclosed.
As of Saturday morning, authorities have not found any survivors from the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed the incident but has yet to provide details on the flight’s origin and intended destination.
The helicopter was reportedly en route to Las Vegas when the tragedy struck, carrying Wigwe and approximately five other individuals.
“The helicopter carrying six people crashed in San Bernardino County overnight, with authorities saying they have been unable to locate any survivors,” said a spokesperson from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. They added, “We are not able to confirm how many people were on board or their names.”
The helicopter is registered to Orbic Air, a Burbank-based tour company, suggesting the flight may have been part of a leisure trip to Las Vegas.
The crash’s cause is still under investigation, with the FAA and local authorities working closely to determine the sequence of events leading up to the accident.
This incident marks the state’s second fatal helicopter crash in less than a week, following a Navy chopper accident during a routine training flight in Pine Valley, California.
The back-to-back tragedies have cast a shadow over the aviation sector, raising questions about safety measures and regulations.
Herbert Wigwe’s death is a significant loss to the financial industry, where he was regarded as a visionary leader. Under his stewardship, Access Holdings Plc achieved remarkable growth and expansion, earning him respect and admiration from peers and employees alike.